The Israeli army decided to step up assassination of Islamic Jihad resistance group in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israeli sources reported on Friday.
This comes after the group claimed responsibility for firing some home-made shells at Israeli targets from the Gaza Strip on Thursday.
The army has already imposed an "aerial siege" on the northern part of the Gaza Strip to prevent Palestinians from reaching the ruins of three settlements which Israel evacuated in September as part of the unilateral disengagement plan.
According to the Israeli military, the siege is meant to prevent Palestinian resistance groups from using the location as launching site of the home-made shells at the nearby Israeli town of Sderot.
The sources said aerial and artillery bombing will be used to maintain the siege; however, ground operations are not currently under consideration.
Palestinian sources however said, some Israeli ministers demanded the government to create what they called a security section in the north and the south of the Gaza Strip similar to those created in the southern Lebanon after 1982.
Some ministers went further by demanding the government to launch ground military operations in the Gaza Strip similar to that on the West Bank launched on March 29, 2002 in which Israeli forces reoccupied all the West Bank main cities.
Palestinian media sources reported that Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Security committee of the Knesset Yuval Steints and some other "Likud" and Sharon’s new party "Kadima", such as Gedeon Ezra, Meir Shitreet and Yisrael Katz called for "intensive shelling of the Palestinian areas to force the residents in some areas to flee to Sinai."
The Palestinian resistance groups claim their attacks mostly target Israeli military installations; however they also target some civilian areas as well. On Thursday, the Israeli military unleashed a massive artillery barrage killing Jabalia resident Ibrahim Ma’ama 21, in response to a Qassam shells attack earlier in the day that lightly wounded four Israeli troops at an army base near the Gaza border.
The Islamic Jihad movement and other Palestinian resistance groups have been target of intensive Israeli military operations in the past few months following the disengagement plan in September this year, in which Israel evacuated all the settlements of the Gaza Strip and four minor ones in the northern West Bank. Israel also pulled out its military from inside the Gaza Strip.