Some Israeli army and security officials are lobbying for a ‘crushing blow’ on Hamas prior to the pullout to the Gaza Strip borders.
Louder calls for a major blow on Hamas are heard following the recent shelling attacks on Israeli settlements and southern Israeli towns.
Israel has repeatedly vowed that there would be ‘no disengagement under fire.’
The newly appointed Israeli army chief of staff Dan Halutz said Tuesday that Israel will refrain from responding to rocket and mortar attacks in Gush Katif and Sderot, biding to offer Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas more time to act to restore calm in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli vice Premier Shimon Peres responded to the call for a major blow in the Gaza Strip saying: ‘if it were possible to deliver one blow like this and be done with it, we would have done so long ago. There is no such thing.’
Abbas is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip on Wednesday to talk to Hamas leaders about enforcing calm.
Palestinian sources said Abbas telephoned Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, and demanded that he end the fire and infractions of the calm.
Hamas explained Tuesday that the mortar attack on Sderot came in response to the clash Monday between Palestinian worshipers and Jews who wanted to enter Harm Al-Sharif, the second in holiness Moslem Shrine.
Islamic Jihad was behind the second mortar attack on Sderot, apparently in retaliation for the army killing of one of its leaders in Qabatiya, near the West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday.