Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh vowed Monday that Hamas would fight until 'victory or martyrdom,' as Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip killed five Palestinians, including four members of an Islamic Jihad Qassam rocket firing squad.
"We will keep to the same path until we win one of two goals: victory or martyrdom," said Haniyeh at a funeral service for a Hamas lawmaker's family members, who were killed Sunday in an IAF strike.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Israel's attacks would have "grave consequences for the entire region" and that militants should stop their rocket fire "so as not to give the Israelis the excuse they use to justify their attacks that have killed innocent victims," according to his spokesman, Nabil Amr.
In response to the air strikes, Islamic Jihad threatened to target Israeli leaders. "The Zionist attack will not stop rocket fire against Zionist towns," said Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Ahmed. "Leaders of the Zionist enemy will pay a price."
Hamas also pledged to strike at "the enemy anywhere in Palestine, whether with suicide attacks or operations against soldiers," said Hamas military wing spokesman Abu Obeida.
In Gaza, Palestinian women dressed in black, donning masks with the words "Al-Aqsa Brigades," which is linked to Fatah, and clutching rifles told reporters they were ready to commit suicide bombings against any Israeli troops who entered Gaza.
Earlier Monday, one person was killed in a pre-dawn IAF strike on a suspected rocket manufacturing facility. Palestinian sources said the facility was a stone mason's workshop.
Also Monday, cabinet ministers warned Hamas politicial leaders that they could also be targets in moves to halt the Qassam fire.
"I don't distinguish between those who carry out the [rocket] attacks and those who give the orders. I say we have to put them all in the crosshairs," National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Israel Radio.
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter said Hamas' exiled political leader Khaled Meshal, whom Israel tried to assassinate in Jordan in 1997, would not be "immune" to Israeli attack.
"I am convinced that they will say goodbye to him at the first opportunity that arises," Dichter told Army Radio.
"Khaled Mehsal is not invincible, not in Damascus and not elsewhere," the former Shin Bet chief added. "He knows this well. Of course all the political and other sensitivities will be taken into account."
Dichter said he believes that allowing the threat to captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit's life to limit Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip would be a mistake.
Meanwhile, IDF shelling in northern Gaza knocked out electricity for about 50,000 people.
Dodging the IAF
Hamas' armed wing cautioned its members Monday to stop using cellular telephones and vehicles to avoid being tracked and targeted in the IAF attacks.
"Do not use the Jawwal phones at all," a Hamas spokesman, referring to a Palestinian cellular network, said in a radio message on an open channel used by Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip.
"Do not get in groups. Do not use any kind of transportation at all because the planes of the Zionist enemy are in skies all the time," he said.
Late Sunday, IAF aircraft bombed the Gaza home of Hamas parliamentarian Khalil al-Haya. He was slightly wounded in the attack, but eight others were killed, including seven members of his family, and another 13 people were wounded.
Palestinian sources said Monday that in an incident close to midnight, an Israel Defense Forces tank fired a shell that struck a wall of a house in the Jabalya refugee camp, wounding six members of a family, three of them children.
The security cabinet Sunday authorized the IDF to intensify air attacks on the Gaza Strip and targeted assassinations of senior Hamas activists. Government sources in Jerusalem said the cabinet decision called for assassinations of leaders of the military wing of Hamas, not the political wing. The sources said al-Haya's name had not been mentioned in the meeting.
Sources in the IDF say they believe that the steps taken so far will not deter Hamas and that the organization will continue to launch rockets at Sderot.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now