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Israeli minister issues death threat to Hamas leaders
by UK Guardian (reposted)
Monday May 21st, 2007 6:20 AM
All Hamas leaders should be killed to end rocket attacks from Gaza, a senior Israeli cabinet official said today, as Israeli planes carried out new air strikes in the territory.
"I don't distinguish between those who carry out the (rocket) attacks and those who give the orders. I say we have to put them all in the crosshairs," said Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the national infrastructure minister, on Israel Radio.

The comments from Mr Ben-Eliezer, a foreign policy hawk, came one day after Israeli jets struck the home of a Hamas politician, Khalil al-Hayya. He was not there but hospital officials said eight people were killed in the deadliest attack since Israel started retaliating to rocket salvos from Gaza last week.

The Israeli army spokeswoman Captain Noa Meir said the strike was not aimed at Mr Haya, but at a group of five armed Hamas men, including a senior militant, near the home.

"They, and only they, were the target, and they were hit," Ms Meir said, adding that any civilian casualties "were the result of the terrorists' use of civilians as human shields".

Nabil Abu Rdainah, a top aide to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned Israel for the attack.

"This escalation will lead the Middle East to more violence and instability," he said.

Hamas and Mr Abbas's Fatah faction are partners in a two-month-old unity government that is on the verge of breaking point because of recent infighting that has left 50 Palestinians dead.

by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Monday May 21st, 2007 6:22 AM
Israel has said it will kill Khaled Meshaal, the exiled Hamas political leader "at the first opportunity".

The threat to kill Meshaal and other leaders of the Palestinian resistance group came as Israel stepped up air attacks in the Gaza Strip on Monday, killing at least five people.

Avi Dichter, the Israeli public security minister, told army radio on Monday: "He [Khaled Meshaal] is a more than legitimate target and I am convinced that at the first opportunity we will rid ourselves of him, despite the difficulty of the task".

Another Israeli minister said all Hamas leaders should be killed with a view to end cross-border rockets being fired into Israel.

Assassination threat

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the national infrastructure minister, said on Israel Radio on Monday: "I don't distinguish between those who carry out the [rocket] attacks and those who give the orders. I say we have to put them all in the crosshairs".

by BBC (reposted)
Monday May 21st, 2007 6:22 AM
Four members of militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad have been killed by an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, the group said.

Israel's army said it had carried out the air strike in Jabaliya refugee camp but did not give any further details.

The attack came after Israel threatened to step up raids on Gaza militants accused of firing rockets into Israel.

Earlier, Israeli missiles killed a Hamas militant and damaged what Israel called a weapons workshop.

Israeli air strikes have killed more than 30 people in the last week, several of them civilians, as rocket attacks from Gaza have continued.

'In the crosshairs'

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened to step up military operations aimed at militants in Gaza in response to recent rocket attacks against Israel.