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Israel Launches More Air Strikes on Gaza

29 October 2005

Israel has launched a third day of air strikes on Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians are appealing to the international community to try to halt the Israeli raids.

Israeli helicopters and fighter jets carried out a series of strikes aimed at Islamic militant targets in Gaza. The army said most of the bombs and missiles hit open fields used by Palestinians to fire rockets at Israel. A generator was hit, knocking out electricity to thousands of homes. It was the latest Israeli assault in response to a suicide bombing on Wednesday, that killed five Israelis. The main target of the raids is the Islamic Jihad group, which claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Israeli Defense Ministry official David Hacham says the offensive will continue until its goals are achieved.

"We are going to take all the necessary measures to dismantle the infrastructure of the Islamic Jihad movement in this area, in order to put an end to the attacks, the terror attacks, being perpetrated," said David Hacham.

The Palestinian Authority warned that the eight-month-old cease-fire is in danger of collapse, and it called for international intervention to halt the Israeli offensive. Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat told VOA, "we condemn this Israeli raid. It's absolutely uncalled for. I think violence at the end of the day will breed violence. We don't need to go back to the cycle of violence."

The Palestinian Interior Minister announced that police will close down weapons factories and storage facilities for arms used by militants. But Israel is skeptical. Israeli officials say they want deeds, not words.

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