Israel Vows 'Strong' Reply to Hamas Rockets

Six more Qassams hit following announcement
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2009 5:54 PM CST
An Israeli police officer examines the damage to the classroom of a school after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza hit the coastal city of Ashkelon, Saturday Feb. 28, 2009.   (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)
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(Newser) – Ongoing rocket attacks on southern Israel will elicit "a serious, painful, strong and uncompromising" response, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said today. At least eight rockets from the Gaza Strip struck the western Negev desert Friday and Saturday, with no casualties or injuries, the Jerusalem Post reports. Six more Qassam missiles hit Israel following Olmert’s threat, reports Haaretz.

"Terrorists, led by Hamas, are trying to recuperate from the hard blow of Operation Cast Lead, and are doing this in the only way they know how to—through terror,” Olmert said at today’s weekly cabinet meeting. Public Security Minster Avi Dichter added that he had "no doubt" Israel would invade Gaza again. "Whoever thinks Hamas can be smashed with one blow is mistaken."