Israel threatens Hamas leaders in Gaza Strip
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday that Israel would continue to "arrest" senior Hamas officials and hinted that such operations are liable to be carried out also in Gaza Strip. "I do not promise that the arrests of senior Hamas figures will take place only in Judea and Samaria [West Bank]," Olmert said at the conclusion of a security affairs review during Sunday's cabinet meeting.
"In any case, when there is a factual basis for terror - there will be arrests. This is an accepted legal procedure. We have here the aggressive involvement of elected officials directly causing terrorism," Olmert said, according to Haaretz.
Dozens of Hamas legislators, including a number of cabinet ministers, were abducted by Israeli forces several days ago.
Olmert also said Sunday that agreeing to the terms of an Israeli soldier's captors would open the door to "more extortion." "Surrendering today means inviting more extortion," Olmert told the cabinet.
Meanwhile, Hamas' armed wing threatened on Sunday to attack Israeli schools, institutions and power plants if Israel, pursuing a military campaign to free the soldier, continued its air strikes against infrastructure in Gaza Strip. "If they continue with these attacks we will strike similar targets in the Zionist Occupation which we have not targeted until now," said Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas.