Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel will return to its pattern of military strikes on the Gaza Strip despite the ongoing month-old calm, Israel's army radio reported on Tuesday. "Those who miss the operations in the Gaza Strip, don't worry, they will come," Barak told a Labour party event in Jerusalem.
A spokesman for Hamas called these comments "ridiculous" and said the movement was "prepared for all options". Barak's words "reflect the state of confusion of the Israeli occupation in dealing with Hamas and the Gaza Strip, and the vacillation between an aggressive escalation and the truce," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
In June, Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered calm with Palestinian fighters in Gaza Strip. Israel said the calm depended among others on progress in releasing Gilad Shalit, an Israeli corporal captured by Palestinian fighters on June 25, 2006.
Israel's army chief said on Monday that the military knows Shalit's location and the identity of those holding him, raising the possibility that Israel could seek to extract him through military means. The army spokesman later insisted that General Gabi Ashkenazi meant only that Israel knew Shalit was being held by Hamas in Gaza.