James Hider and David Byers
Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009
Israel carried out an air strike on the Gaza Strip today after Palestinian militants killed a soldier in a bomb attack, as the fragile ceasefire between the two sides stood on the brink of collapse.
The strike, targeting a Hamas militant riding a motorbike in the southern town of Khan Younis, came after Defence Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel “cannot accept” the bomb attack, which took place as the soldier patrolled the Kissufim crossing with Gaza.
The incident threatened to destroy the calm that has largely prevailed since Israel and the Islamist group ended a three-week conflict on January 17.
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It comes at the worst possible time for humanitarian organisations, which have been distributing desperately needed aid to the coastal strip while international donors discuss how best to help the territory rebuild.
Israel closed its crossings into Gaza to humanitarian aid traffic after briefly opening them this morning.
As he called the meeting of security chiefs, Mr Barak said that Israel “cannot accept” the attack. “We will respond, but there is no point in elaborating,” he said.
This article was posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 11:33 am