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Israeli PM Vows 'Great Force' Against Terror Attacks

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (r) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive for their meeting in Caesarea, Israel, March 25, 2011

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ready to act "with great force and great determination" to counter terrorist attacks, amid a recent increase in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

The prime minister spoke to reporters alongside U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is visiting the region.

Gates said the U.S.-Israeli security relationship has never been stronger, at a time when the region is in turmoil.

Earlier this week, a bombing in Jerusalem killed a British citizen and wounded at least 31 other people. Palestinian militants have also fired rockets and mortars into Isreal, which has responded with airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinians say Israeli planes bombed an arms depot in northern Gaza, a military facility near Gaza City once used as the Palestinian Authority's intelligence headquarters, and other sites.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said because Hamas is in power in Gaza, the group must control the actions of Islamic Jihad and other militant groups.

Also Friday, local reports said a Palestinian in the West Bank threw a stone at an Israeli soldier and wounded him in the head. In return, Israeli police fired on the Palestinian and wounded him.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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