Israel leader: World pressure won't stop offensive
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister today vowed to press forward with a broad military offensive in the Gaza Strip, saying international pressure will not halt what he said was a determined effort to halt rocket fire by Palestinian militants as the death toll from the 4-day-old conflict rose above 100.
Addressing a news conference, Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off a question about possible cease-fire efforts, signaling there was no end in sight to the operation.
"I will end it when our goals are realized. And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet," Netanyahu said.
Israel launched the offensive Tuesday in response to weeks of heavy rocket fire out of Gaza. At least 103 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, have been killed, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel.
One rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier today in southern Israel, seriously wounding one man, and the army said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted more than 100 incoming projectiles.
Netanyahu said he has been in touch with numerous world leaders, including President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Canada.