Israel is sending food into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip while
threatening an invasion. But Hamas is not backing down.
border crossings and sent basic food and supplies into Gaza. The army
said 90 trucks crossed the border carrying rice, flour, fuel and
medicine. The border crossings have been closed since a six-month Gaza
cease-fire expired a week ago. Since then, Palestinian militants have
bombarded southern Israel with dozens of rockets and mortar shells.
crossings were opened a day after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
threatened to invade Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamic militant group
Hamas. Olmert issued the threat in a rare interview on al-Arabiya
television, which broadcasts to the Arab world.
enormous power, we can do things which will be devastating," he said.
"And I keep restraining myself and I keep restraining my friends all
the time and I tell them, 'Let's wait, let's wait, let's wait. Let's
give them another chance.'"
But with rockets and mortars
terrorizing southern Israeli towns and farming communities, Mr. Olmert
has come under increasing pressure to act against Hamas, a group that
refuses to renounce violence or recognize Israel. The prime minister
says he is running out of patience.
"And I'm telling them now,
'It may be the last minute.' I'm telling them, 'Stop it, we are
stronger. There will be more blood there.' Who wants it? We don't want
it," he said.
Israel is reluctant to invade Gaza, fearing high
casualties among Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians, and in
turn, international condemnation.
That could be why Hamas seems unfazed by the Israeli threats.
spokesman Ismail Radwan said Gaza's ground is not covered with fragrant
flowers, but with men and women suicide bombers. He said Israel would
not dare invade Gaza because it knows it would pay a heavy price.