Olmert vows to take systematic action to tackle Qassam attacks

By Xinhua

Jerusalem : In response to Saturday’s Qassam attack on a southern town which seriously injured two Israeli brothers, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the country needs to take “systematic and organized action over time,” local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday.

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“We need systematic and organized action over time. We will go on and reach all elements of terror without being considerate towards anyone,” Olmert said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

The prime minister also wished the injured in Sderot a full recovery, saying that “there is no doubt that we all share the pain, and the anger is understandable and natural, but the anger is not an action plan.”

Before the meeting, Olmert met Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin for a security discussion.

Barak visited Sderot earlier on Sunday and toured the place where Saturday’s rocket landed.

Meanwhile, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter is expected to ask the cabinet during Sunday’s weekly meeting to give the army the green light to step up measures to put a stop to the rocket attacks from Gaza.

Officials close to Dichter told the newspaper that he would repeat his call for the political echelon to order the Israeli army to create a level of deterrence against Hamas in Gaza that would put an end to the daily rocket barrages.

Israeli government has been refrained from escalating military operations in Gaza by ordering either a full-scale Israel Defense Forces incursion or a renewal of the policy of targeting Hamas political leaders.

But Saturday night’s attack is likely to heighten the concern that the current combination of military strikes and limited sanctions fail to halt Qassam and mortar fire.

Israel Air Force killed a Hamas militant in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, hours after two brothers, aged 8 and 19, were seriously wounded when a Qassam rocket struck the backyard of a house in the southern town of Sderot.