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(photo credit: AP)
Ahead of an additional Israeli response to Wednesday's bomb attack along the border with the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday cancelled a planned visit to Washington, where he was scheduled to meet Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Barak said he canceled his trip so he could monitor the developments in Gaza. The IDF was prepared for every possible eventuality, he said.
On Tuesday night, the Israel Air Force bombed three tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor in response to the bombing attack earlier in the day, which killed an IDF Beduin tracker and wounded three other soldiers.
Defense officials said that a radical Palestinian terror group affiliated with global jihad elements was behind the attack but that it could not have been perpetrated without Hamas's consent.
"We will continue with our response to the attack even though it was carried out by a group that is not Hamas," Barak said in a speech before students at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center. "We hold Hamas responsible for everything that happens in Gaza."
Barak said it was possible that there would be more attacks before a cease-fire was implemented by Hamas and Israel.
Barak was supposed to spend one day in Washington for talks with Gates and National Security Advisor James Jones.
Barak told US Mideast envoy George Mitchell on Wednesday that Israel would not tolerate harm to its civilians or its sovereignty.
Speaking during a meeting at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Barak said Israel would act decisively in responding to every attempt by Hamas and other Gaza terror groups to attack.