Israel vows to keep hitting Gaza militants
Israel vowed to keep targeting militants in Hamas-run Gaza on Tuesday as it mulled whether to launch a widescale offensive against the territory amid revived peace talks with the Palestinians.
"For the moment, what's important is to kill all those who want to fire Qassam (rockets) against Israel," Defence Minister Ehud Barak told army radio.
Barak has recently authorised the army to fire on manned Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip, instead of targeting only rocket-launching cells and infrastructure as previously.
The attacks have killed some two dozen Palestinians, nearly all of them militants, in the past 10 days. Three members of Hamas's military wing killed in an air strike overnight, medics said Tuesday.
Barak vowed to continue with the deadly raids and renewed warnings that Israel would eventually launch a widescale offensive in the territory where Hamas violently seized power in mid-June.
"The Israeli army will continue the extremely effective operations of its special forces in the Gaza Strip," he said. "Each day that passes brings us closer to a vigorous military operation."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been under increasing pressure to launch a major operation against Gaza, ruled by a group pledged to Israel's destruction and a base for militants firing rockets and mortars at it on a near daily basis.