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Gaza Rocket Hits House in Israel, Jerusalem Warns of Tough Response

A Palestinian rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a house in southern Israel today, causing damage but no injuries, and Israeli officials quickly warned of a tough response to the latest surge in violence. The rocket hit the town of Netivot, ending a brief overnight lull to three days of fighting, which has left six Palestinians dead, including four civilians, and 40 wounded. Eight Israelis have also been wounded in the cross-border attacks. "We have a full box of tools ... That we have not yet used," Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Army Radio. "We will need to toughen our response until Hamas says 'enough' and ends the fire." The Islamist movement Hamas, which refuses to recognise Israel's right to exist, governs in Gaza. However many of the missiles fired out of the coastal enclave are launched by other groups, with today's strike claimed by the radical Salafi organisation, the Shoura Council of the Mujahedeen. Israel went to war against Hamas in the winter of 2008-2009 but has shown little appetite for a new round that could strain fraught relations with the new Islamist-rooted government in neighboring Egypt, which made peace with Israel in 1979. However, conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be reluctant to seem weak ahead of a Jan 22 general election that opinion polls currently predict he will win. Mr Yaalon admitted there was no "bang and we're done" solution and declined to say if Israel would return to a former policy of targeted ...
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