Peretz: Hamas will pay if they attack from Gaza

Sunday Times: Ehud Barak planning large-scale operation in Gaza.

Peretz, ashk good 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Peretz, ashk good 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
In his last day in office on Sunday, Defense Minister Amir Peretz toured Israel's border with the Gaza Strip and warned the Palestinians that Israel would respond harshly if attacked by Hamas. "We will not be tolerant," Peretz said. "We will respond harshly and whoever is in charge in Gaza needs to ensure that there is quiet in the region." On Sunday, the IDF distributed water and food to the hundreds of Palestinians who had gathered at the Erez Crossing hoping to be allowed into Israel. IDF sources said that the crossing would remain closed, and the Palestinians who had gathered there claiming they were in danger if they remained in Gaza would not be allowed to enter Israel. Later in the day, the IDF shot at two Palestinians who were spotted approaching the Gaza security fence in a suspicious manner. On two other occasions, five Palestinians were apprehended by troops after they tried to cut the fence and cross into Israel illegally. Meanwhile, defense officials denied a report in the Sunday Times that incoming Defense Minister Ehud Barak was planning a large-scale operation in Gaza in face of Hamas's takeover. According to the officials, Israel did not plan at the moment to initiate an operation inside Gaza, but would definitely respond to any attacks or provocations by Hamas.