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Olmert orders forces to step up offensive

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Olmert orders forces to step up offensive


Acting on orders from their prime minister to step up operations Israeli forces have launched more attacks in Gaza. A helicopter gunship fired a missile into a building the army said was used by Palestinian militants. The Fatah movement said it was the office of a charity.

The offensive is intended to secure the release of an Israeli soldier who was seized by Palestinian gunmen a week ago. Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres reiterated Israel holds the Hamas government responsible.

it became a so-called government of terror so we have to take all the necessary measures in order to stop ot and that’s what we are doing, we are doing it gradually with care.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said the key to solving the crisis lies in neighbouring Syria where several Hamas militant leaders are based. He said they had ordered recent attacks against his country.

Early on Sunday an Israeli struck the office of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza. Both he and moderate President Mahmoud Abbas have been involved in Egyption-led efforts at mediation. But so far these have yielded little to encourage the Israelis that talks may lead to the release of their soldier.

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