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HAMAS NEEDS TO CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

GAZA CITY : Inspite of warned from International community Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said ‘Operation Cast Lead,’ which has also left 225 dead and some 700 wounded, will continue ‘as long as necessary.’ We would continue on the ground if air strikes were not enough to change Hamas's behaviour. ‘The battle will be long and difficult, but the time has come to act and to fight,’ he said.
Mr Barak said "there is a time for calm and a time for fighting, and now the time has come to fight". He told the BBC it was "not realistic" to call off the operation at this stage.
The BBC's Katya Adler in Jerusalem says the timing of Israel's operation is significant, as Israeli politicians are keen to score points ahead of a general election in February.
It is the worst attack in Gaza since 1967 in terms of the number of Palestinian casualties, a senior analyst told the BBC in Jerusalem. Although a six-month truce between Hamas and Israel was agreed earlier this year, it was regularly under strain and was allowed to lapse when it expired this month.
"The United States is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in Gaza," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement.
"We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there. The ceasefire must be restored immediately and fully respected."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also urged an immediate halt to the violence, condemning what he called Israel's "excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians" and "the ongoing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants".
BBC NEWS
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