Truth Frequency Radio

Nov 22, 2012

JERUSALEM, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) — An Israeli minister said Thursday that Hamas can expect an aggravated military response in the event that it or other militant groups in the Gaza Strip resume rocket attacks on Israel.

“We will take much tougher steps in the next round, with the understanding of the world,” Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor said at a press conference in Jerusalem less than 24 hours after a fragile Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ended the worst cross-border hostilities in years.

Israeli media on Thursday took stock of an eight-day military operation that sought to quell incessant rocket fire: six fatalities, most of them civilians, and 240 wounded by salvos that totaled 1,500 projectiles, damage to homes and public structures and military expenditures estimated at hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.

The military said aircraft and artillery struck 1,600 militant targets, mainly rocket launchers, as well as 200 weapons smuggling tunnels, 25 weapons manufacturing facilities and depots, command and control centers, and Hamas’ stockpiles of long-range missiles.

Thirty militants, seven of whom served in senior command posts, were killed in the operation launched last Wednesday with the assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jaabari.

“We wanted to deal a blow that would make them rethink ( launching rockets into Israel). This limited goal was fully achieved, although the outcome is yet to be seen,” Meridor said.

He noted that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s combined arsenal of 10,000 rockets was significantly depleted. “Several thousand are not there anymore, but it’s not just the number but quality: the longer-range projectiles, the Fajr-5s,were badly hit in the first days of the operation,” Meridor said. “I’m not playing down the psychological damage (incurred by Israeli civilians), but there was very little damage in terms of human life.

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