Olmert vows response to rocket firing as Blair tours Gaza Strip
Israel's prime minister threatened "uncompromising" retaliation against Gaza Strip Sunday as Palestinian rocket fire persists. According to the AP, Ehud Olmert met with his Cabinet to decide how to respond.
The Israeli military said Palestinians have launched over 110 rockets and mortar shells at Israel since the war in Gaza ended Jan. 18. "If the rocket fire from Gaza continues, it will be answered with a painful, harsh, strong and uncompromising response from the security forces," Olmert said, speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, Former British prime minister Tony Blair, currently an international Mideast envoy, was touring Gaza on Sunday - his first visit since being appointed to the job in 2007. Middle East envoy Tony Blair visited the Gaza Strip on Sunday, his first such trip to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory since being appointed two years ago.
"I wanted to come to hear for myself, first hand, from people in Gaza whose lives have been so badly impacted by the recent conflict," Blair said in a statement. According to Reuters, aides said Blair would discuss with business and civil leaders efforts to repair damage from Israel's January offensive. Reconstruction will also be the focus of an international donor conference in Egypt on Monday.
"I will relay their account of events, their assessment of what is needed for reconstruction, their goals for rebuilding a vibrant private sector and civil society, to this week's conference in Sharm El Sheikh," Blair said in the statement.
A spokeswoman for the former British prime minister said he had no plans to meet Hamas officials during the visit.