Scene of attack at Nahal Oz
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Barak: Hamas will pay for Nahal Oz attack
Government officials in Jerusalem say Islamist group authorized raid that killed two Israelis. Lieberman: Attack could have been prevented had government stopped fuel, electricity supply to Strip

"Hamas is the official ruler of Gaza and, as far as Israel is concerned, must be held accountable for the firing and terror attacks that come from Gaza," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a meeting with visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk following Wednesday's deadly shooting attack at Nahal Oz.


Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the Polish PM that "Hamas' regime in Gaza is a danger to the entire region. Hamas controls Gaza, and has the power to prevent any terrorist activity planned within its borders. Israel will not occupy itself with the question of which organization carried out the attack – Hamas will be held responsible."


IDF officials estimated that during the incident three-to-five gunmen infiltrated the fuel terminal, hit the two Israelis and fled back into the Strip. According to the army, the terror cell set out to abduct soldiers in the area.


"This a cynical attack," an Israeli official said. "On the one hand, Hamas complains of the blockade on Gaza, and on the other hand it is responsible for the attack on the fuel terminal, which provides gas and fuel to the residents of the Strip," he stated.




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Minister of Religious Affairs Yitzhak Cohen resolved: "Gaza must be isolated from all resources except for those necessary for survival. We must be strong in order to deter the Palestinians."


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "the attack provides evidence for the Gazan terrorists' desire not only to attack Israelis, but the very foundations that allow for a normal civilian life in Gaza. Anyone can see that the terrorists' goal is to kill as many Israelis as possible, while disrupting any coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians on the border with Gaza."


The ministry added that "Israel provides Gaza daily with food, fuel, and medical supplies, and the terrorists that attacked the fuel terminal undermined this, mostly harming the welfare of the citizens of Gaza."


Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) said that the "murderous terror attack in Nahal Oz could have been prevented had the government stopped the fuel and electricity supply to the Gaza Strip."


Government spokesman Mark Regev said following the attack that Gaza's Hamas rulers are "responsible and will be held accountable." Israel has responded to the infiltration with an air strike and tank shelling. At least three Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli retaliation.


Associated Press contributed to the report


First published: 09.04.08, 17:11
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