Israel is getting nearer to implementing a major operation in the Gaza Strip in response to continuing rocket fire from the Hamas-run territory, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday. "We are nearing an extensive operation in Gaza in response to rocket firing. We have to weaken the Hamas regime and its grip on Gaza," the former premier told Israel's army radio.
"This operation will not be simple, both because of the forces that will have to be involved and the time limit that will be imposed on them," he said.
Nine rockets fired by Gaza Strip gunners hit Israel on Wednesday without causing casualties or damage, the army said. And 20 mortar rounds were also fired from the territory, it said.
Earlier, a Palestinian child, thought to be around 12 years old, was injured when Israeli warplanes fired a missile at a rocket launcher in northern Gaza, locals said. According to AFP, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad group, which fires most of the rockets from Gaza, said several of its members managed to escape the strike.