Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is meeting top security officials to discuss how to respond to a Palestinian rocket attack on an army base. Dozens of soldiers sleeping in tents were wounded and 12 are reported to be in a serious condition. The young recruits were undergoing basic training at a base near Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza-Israel border. There are now calls within Israel for a major military operation in Gaza to stop such attacks.
Two small militant groups – Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees – have claimed responsibility for the firing of the rocket. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman says the attacks continue “despite the fact Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip, took down its settlements and ended military occupation”.
“Extremist groups in Gaza, extremists who are opposed to peace and reconciliation, continue to shoot rockets and missiles into Israel across the international line. This is unacceptable and the government of Israel will act to defend our sovereignty and our people,” he added. Hamas in Gaza says the rocket attacks are in response to what it calls daily acts of aggression by the Israeli army.