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'Will bring about another failure.' Olmert
Photo: Reuters
Israeli official: Palestinians will pay heavy price
MKs, government officials react to death of foreign volunteer by Palestinian sniper fire near Gaza; 'Olmert is reluctant to declare war even though the battles have already begun,' MK Edelstein says

In response to the death of a 20-year-old foreign volunteer by Palestinian sniper fire near Gaza on Tuesday, an Israeli official said that "terror groups are paying and will continue to pay a heavy price."

 

Likud Knesset Member Yuli Edelstein said "just like during the Second Lebanon War, (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert is reluctant to declare war and a state of emergency, even though the battles have already started.

 

"This is preventing the residents of the western Negev and the IDF from preparing accordingly and is resulting in unnecessary casualties.

 

"(Olmert's policy) will bring about another failure," he added.

 

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union-NRP) said following the incident near Gaza that "the (death of the volunteer) brings the government to a crossroads: eliminate the terrorism or capitulate to it.

 

"The abandoning of the country's southern residents to snipers and Katyusha (rocket) launchers is a continuing crime by the Israeli government," he said.

 

On the Left end of the political spectrum, Meretz MK Ran Cohen warned of further escalation in the Strip, saying "only yesterday (Monday) we heard Olmert telling the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he had reservations regarding a (large-scale) operation in Gaza, but it seems as though the security establishment is trying to press him into (approving an operation) and thus bring about uncalled for escalation that will claim more and more victims from both sides.

 

"Self-restraint is power," he said.

 

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report

 

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