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Gaza offensive to continue as long as necessary: Netanyahu

AFP , Sunday 24 Aug 2014
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv August 10, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his ministers on Sunday that the ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip would continue until peace is restored to southern Israel.

"Operation Protective Edge will continue until its aims are achieved... it may take time," he said of the military assault launched on July 8, in remarks broadcast by public radio.

At a special session of the cabinet, held at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv, he repeated a warning of harsh retribution for the death of an Israeli child on Friday in a rocket strike on a kibbutz near the Gaza border.

"Hamas is paying, and will continue to pay, a heavy price for the crimes it carries out," Netanyahu said.

"I call on residents of Gaza to immediately leave any structure from which Hamas carries out terror activity against us. All such sites are a target for us."

He added a veiled warning to neighbouring Lebanon and Syria after overnight rocket fire into Israeli territory.

"There is not and will not be any immunity for anyone who fires at Israeli citizens and that is true for every sector and every border," he said.

Earlier on Sunday, five rockets fired from Syrian-controlled territory slammed into the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights but caused no casualties, the Israeli army said.

Late Saturday, a rocket fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel, causing damage but no casualties, police and the army said.

Israel has so far not responded.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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