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Israeli Foreign Minister calls for ‘full reoccupation’ of Gaza Strip

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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for the full reoccupation of the besieged Gaza Strip amid rising tensions in the region.

Lieberman made the remarks on Israel’s Channel 2 television following a retaliatory attack by Palestinian resistance movement, Islamic Jihad, against the Israeli regime earlier on Wednesday.

“Following an attack like this — a barrage of more than 50 rockets — there is no alternative to a full reoccupation of the entire Gaza Strip,” said the Israeli foreign minister.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli security source said more than 60 mortar rounds had been fired from Gaza, while the Israeli military put the number at “more than 30 rockets,” adding eight hit urban areas, and another three were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile system.

“We will continue to strike those who want to harm us. We’ll act against them very forcefully,” Lieberman was quoted by his spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, as saying in a separate statement.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also threatened to respond “very forcefully” to the shelling from the besieged Palestinian sliver.

The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the Wednesday rocket attacks on the south of the occupied Palestinian lands, saying, it “responded to (Israeli) aggression with a volley of rockets.”

On Tuesday, three Palestinians lost their lives after an Israeli drone carried out an airstrike on the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas blamed Tel Aviv for the escalation of tensions in the region.

“We hold the occupation responsible, we warn of the consequences of any escalation and we reiterate that resistance is the right of the Palestinian people to defend itself,” AFP quoted Ihab al-Ghassin, a Hamas spokesman, as saying.

Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs that pay proper wages, and adequate healthcare and education.


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