Israel threatened stepped-up retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza fired a rocket barrage across the border Monday, narrowly missing a day-care center in the Israeli border town of Sderot. Twelve children were treated for shock.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that Israel’s armed forces, which have largely limited their counter-measures to pinpoint strikes against Palestinian rocket crews, could now pursue those deemed responsible for ordering the salvoes.
“We view this attack very gravely,” he told reporters. “The military has been instructed to destroy every rocket launcher and to strike all those involved in the firings.”
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, meanwhile, suggested that Israel should retaliate by disrupting the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, though she did not elaborate on what this might entail. Israel formally shuns the Hamas administration in the territory but has kept up supplies of food and other “humanitarian” goods.
“I think the Palestinians need to understand that this cannot be business as usual,” Livni said during a press conference with visiting E.U. official Javier Solana. “There is no equation in which Israel’s children will be under attack by Kassam rockets on a daily basis while life in the Gaza Strip continues as usual.”