Rocket from Gaza kills Thai worker in Israel as Ashton visit

A rocket, fired by unknown group from the Gaza Strip, killed a Thai agricultural worker in Israel which threatened a powerful "response".

Rocket from Gaza kills Thai worker in Israel as Ashton visit

 

A rocket, fired by unknown group from the Gaza Strip, killed a Thai agricultural worker in Israel which threatened a powerful "response".

"This is a crossing of the red line, which Israel cannot accept. The Israeli response will be appropriate. It will be strong," Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters.

The rocket tore into a plastic-covered hothouse in the Israeli community of Netiv Ha'asara an hour after the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, paid a rare visit by a top diplomat to the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

She condemned the attack, as did United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip, Israel and the West Bank on Saturday and Sunday.

A previously unknown group, Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the strike, the first from the Gaza Strip to kill anyone in Israel since its war in the enclave in January 2009.

The attack was launched a day before the international Quartet of Middle East mediators was to meet in Moscow to discuss ways to revive peace talks frozen since December 2008.

Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai, however, said Israel held Hamas responsible for any cross-border attacks because the group controlled the Gaza Strip.

"Israel is not interested in a military confrontation but will not allow its citizens to be attacked," Vilnai said.

"The Jihadist mission came in response to the Zionist assaults against the Ibrahimi and al-Aqsa mosques and the continued Zionist aggression against our people in Jerusalem," Ansar al-Sunna said in a statement.

In a statement on the rocket firing, Hamas steered clear of comments that could be seen by Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip as disapproving of a strike against its enemy, even an attack that strained an informal truce.

"The government of the Zionist enemy, which has launched a war against the Palestinian people and against holy sites and al-Aqsa mosque, bears the responsibility for all the escalation," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2010, 23:05
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