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Peretz wants Gaza incursion

Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip will continue independent of cross-border Palestinian rocket attacks, Israel’s defense minister said. “Our campaign is preplanned and is not in response to Palestinian actions,” Amir Peretz told the top military brass Thursday, Israel Radio reported. “We must stay on the offensive.” After almost three weeks of Israeli air strikes, Hamas rocket launches have dropped steeply though other Palestinian terrorist groups have kept up their salvoes. Israel has rejected Palestinian calls for a comprehensive ceasefire, with Jerusalem officials saying the aim was now to deal a heavy tactical blow to Hamas and offset its recent military buildup. There has also been talk of keeping up Israeli pressure on Gaza until a foreign peacekeeping force is deployed there, an idea currently only in a preliminary stage.