Israeli Leaders Vow to Topple Hamas

December 23, 2008

The two frontrunners in the race to become prime minister after a snap election in February both vowed to topple Hamas, which has run Gaza since violently seizing power there in June 2007.

Militant rocket and mortar fire continued on Sunday, the Israeli army said, reporting that one person was slightly wounded.
Israel launched two air raids targeting rocket launchers and an unidentified armed Palestinian group, a military spokesman said. Palestinian hospital sources said three activists and a child were wounded.
“Israel must topple the Hamas rule in Gaza and a government under my command will do just that,” Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, leader of the governing Kadima party, was quoted as saying by Israeli media.
“Israel must react when it is fired upon, must re-establish its force of dissuasion and stop the rockets.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party which is leading in opinion polls, echoed the sentiment.
“In the long run, we have no choice but to topple Hamas rule,” he was quoted as saying by the Ynet news website as he toured the southern Israeli town of Sderot, which has borne the brunt of militant rocket attacks from Gaza.
“Right now we have to go from passive response to active assault.”
Senior defence officials said after the weekly cabinet meeting that Israel was preparing to take action to halt the rocket strikes.
“We are preparing our response to the Hamas threat, with the decision yet to be taken on the timing and the scale,” Amos Gilad, a senior adviser to Defence Minister Ehud Barak, told public radio.
A senior Israeli defence official said that a major military confrontation in the besieged territory was unavoidable.
“It is obvious where we are heading in Gaza. The situation is intolerable but clear. The army’s considerations are the only thing that is deciding when events will unfold,” he said.
Source: Telegraph

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