Barak: IDF ops to grow even stronger

Says continued Kassam fire will mean more Palestinian casualties: Hamas: IDF op a massacre.

Barak can see the pub 248 88 (photo credit: AP )
Barak can see the pub 248 88
(photo credit: AP )
If Palestinians continue to fire Kassam rockets into Israel, they will suffer the consequences of IDF operations of increasing strength, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned on Thursday in reference to an IDF operation which killed at least five Hamas operatives and one Islamic Jihad gunman. "If the Kassam rocket fire from Gaza continues, then we will strengthen our operations more and the casualties on the other side will increase," Barak said during a tour of a military base in the western Negev. "The IDF operations will bring results," Barak continued. "This will not end today, and not tomorrow, but the continued military action on the one hand, with the sanctions on the Gaza Strip on the other, as well as the reinforcements which will begin in some of the [Gaza belt] communities, will in the end bring a stop to the Kassam rocket fire." Meanwhile, Hamas accused Israel of carrying out a massacre. "Every day Israel perpetrates massacres as a result of its political crises and [deteriorating] internal security," Hamas spokesman Fauzi Brahum said. "Israel conducts assassinations because it wants to cover up its many different failures, especially those connected to the Winograd report and the release of the kidnapped soldiers." Brahum went on to accuse the US government of cooperating with the "crimes of Israel." "The Americans participate with the Israeli occupier to carry out plans to destroy and to kill the Palestinian people," the Hamas spokesman said. However, in light of recent IDF activity in the Gaza Strip, Hamas has strengthened its resolve to continue on the path of military resistance, Brahum said. On Wednesday, Hamas's representative in Teheran, Abu Osama Abdel Mu'ti, announced that the Islamic organization planned to conduct more suicide attacks against Israel. "The armed wing of Hamas has decided to resume martyrdom [suicide] operations against Israel after a one-year lull," he said. "The enemy should expect more attacks." He said the fact that Hamas suicide bombers had managed to carry out an attack in Dimona, "one of the most sensitive areas," was a major victory. "This operation shows that the Palestinian resistance groups won't succumb to the pressure from the Zionists, Americans and their allies in Ramallah," he stressed.