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"I have no intention of making any agreement with Hamas or the Islamic Jihad to stop the rocket fire from Gaza towards Sderot and other western Negev neighborhoods," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset on Tuesday.
Olmert reiterated that there was "no magical solution" to the problem of Kassam rocket attacks but he stressed that IDF operations in recent weeks were a key to the solution.
"We are not subject to any timetable. We have no intention of making any agreement, neither with Hamas nor with Islamc Jihad nor with any other similar group. We will strike them and continue to strike them," said Olmert
During his Knesset speech, the prime minister asserted that the recent IDF operations had brought noteworthy results. "In recent weeks many dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad men have been killed as a result of our operations and I have no intention of stopping," he said.
Olmert emphasized that Israel did not intend to hurt innocent civilians but harming those civilians was a consequence of the fighting, adding that the responsibility for this rested with those involved in terror activity. "We don't seek to hurt civilians. And, please god, we wont hurt one civilian who is not involve in terror activity, but we wont hesitate to hurt those who are involved. Them and not others," he said.
The prime minister went on to say that he would begin to use explanatory tactics towards residents of the Gaza Strip to make it clear to them how they have been the victims of Palestinian aggression towards Israel.
In the coming days, he said, he would turn to the Palestinian population in the Strip and explain to them that "first and foremost they are the victims of fanaticism of a few people among them, victims of hate of certain organizations, of extremism of their leaders who are prepared to sacrifice the blood of the Palestinians and deny them the elementary right to life. A right that we demand for ourselves and we are prepared to grants others."