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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israel Mulls Response To Attacks

GIBOR ARMY BASE, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres said Tuesday he would not be pushed into a hasty response to guerrilla rocket attacks from Lebanon that wounded 13 people in northern Israel. But Peres told reporters at Gibor army base near the attacked area that deliberation did not equal restraint.


"I promise you this is not restraint and it is not fear and not elections. It is cold consideration completely," he said.


He spoke shortly after Israeli fighter-bombers pounded guerrilla targets in south Lebanon.


"I think we are considering in a very cool way what should be done, what shouldn't be done ... our considerations are on the merits of the case. They are not colored by either political consideration or any other consideration," Peres said.


The pro-Iranian Hezbollah, or Party of God, said it fired the rockets Tuesday in retaliation for a roadside bomb blast Monday that killed a teenager and wounded three in Braachit village in Lebanon. The Israeli army said it had not planted the bomb.


Opposition members have criticized Peres, who is facing May 29 national elections, for not hitting back hard at the guerrillas after their earlier attacks.


After Tuesday's rocket attack, dozens of Israelis in Kiryat Shmona, the town hardest hit, burned tires in the main street.


When police removed them, they shouted: "Police state" and "Peres go home."


Main opposition Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running against Peres for the prime minister's post, visited Kiryat Shmona after the attack.


"There are many ways of fighting terrorism but the first decision is to fight it and I hope that decision is forthcoming," Netanyahu told reporters. "Mr. Peres knows that he'll have my backing if he does this."


In Lebanon, security sources said four Israeli planes fired rockets into guerrilla-held areas near the village of Majdal Silm used by Hizbollah fighters to attack the Israeli-held buffer zone in south Lebanon. There was no word of casualties.





Israel and the guerrillas have an unwritten agreement not to harm civilians, with the implied threat that when one side does, retaliation may also hit non-combatants on the other side.


That agreement ended a week-long Israeli blitz on Lebanon in July 1993 that killed more than 130 people, mostly civilians.