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Israel weighs harsh military action against Gaza

Published on Nov 12, 2012 6:53 PM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - After 24 hours of violence on its Gaza border, the second such flare-up in less than a month, Israeli officials and commentators on Monday weighed the prospect of a major new military operation against Gaza.

A truce floated overnight appeared to be unravelling on Monday morning, with militants firing another dozen or so rockets over the border, and the military saying it had carried out several overnight air strikes on targets in northern and southern Gaza.

The violence has prompted tough talk from Israeli leaders, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that the Jewish state was "prepared to escalate" its response, and Defence Minister Ehud Barak saying Gaza rulers Hamas would pay a "heavy price."

Commentators said the warnings reflected discussions within the government about how to respond to the violence, with options ranging from a large-scale military operation to increased air strikes and the targeting of top militants under consideration.

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