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Israel warns Islamic Jihad over rocket attacks.

Israel: "We will continue to hit those who hit us. Islamic Jihad, which has an itchy trigger finger, is starting to pay the price," Home Front Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told army radio as a days-old truce appeared to be unravelling.

His remarks came in the wake of an uptick in violence which has seen five Gazans killed and 30 injured in Israeli raids over the past 24 hours, two of them militants from Islamic Jihad s armed wing, the Al Quds Brigades.

"We have hit those who deserved it and we will continue to do so as long as there is terrorism against Israel," he added, while indicating that Gaza s Hamas rulers were not engaged in the escalation.

Hamas was being cautious because "it is in their interest that this wave of violence come to an end," he said. "In the past, they have paid a high price."

Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor told public radio that Israel was ready to respect the truce which was declared by militants on Sunday evening, as long as there was calm along the border.

"We will not jeopardise the calm if the other side does the same," said Meridor, a key member of the Israeli cabinet.

"But we will not wait to act while we are being shot at and people are dying," he said. "I hope this message will be understood."

Sunday s truce had appeared to be holding, but by the early hours of Wednesday morning, things appeared to be unravelling fast after an Israeli air strike killed a Jihad militant and sparked a flurry of rockets into southern Israel.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Aug 25, 2011
Words:302
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