Text size

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Tuesday for the deployment of an international force along the Gaza-Egypt border in order to stop the ongoing strengthening of extremist groups in the Gaza Strip.

In a conversation with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, Olmert said, "Should the Gaza Strip ultimately fall to Hamas, it will have regional implications.

"We cannot go into the Gaza Strip in order to fight the battle between Palestinian pragmatists and extremist forces," added the prime minister.

In a security consultation held Tuesday evening with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided Israel would not intervene in the internal fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Peretz also warned Hamas not to drag Israel into the clashes by continuing to fire Qassam rockets at the western Negev.

Qassam rocket lighlty wounds man in western NegevA man was lightly hurt by shrapnel as two Qassam rockets struck the western Negev early on Tuesday.

The man was injured when a Qassam hit the Sha'ar Hanegev industrial zone. Two other people were treated for anxiety following the salvo.

The rocket was the second to hit the Negev on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, a Qassam hit the Sderot area, causing neither injuries nor property damage.

In the West Bank, meanwhile, IDF forces in Ramallah arrested four wanted Palestinians in an overnight raid.

In Nablus, gunmen opened fire on troops operating in the area. There were no injuries in the incident.