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Israeli PM Vows to Strike Hard Against Hamas


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised to strike so hard against Hamas in Gaza that the Islamic militant group will no longer be able to target Israeli civilians.

Mr. Olmert addressed a meeting of his Kadima Party late Thursday after Israel cut off the flow of fuel to the Gaza Strip. It is unclear how long the fuel stoppage will last.

The fuel cutoff was in response to a Palestinian militant raid Wednesday on a border terminal that resulted in the deaths of two Israeli civilians.

Israel blamed the assault on Hamas, which controls Gaza. The attack occurred at the Nahal Oz terminal that sends fuel into Gaza.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Olmert, Mark Regev said the attack on the terminal shows the militants' "total and complete disregard" for civilians in Gaza.

Tuesday, Hamas threatened to storm Gaza's borders with Israel and Egypt, unless Israel ends its blockade of the region.

In response, Egypt sent hundreds of troops to the Sinai coastal city of El-Arish Wednesday to reinforce the area to prevent a Palestinian breach of the border.

In January, Hamas blasted through the border, allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to pour into Egypt and stock up on food and fuel for 10 days before the border was re-sealed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.