Israel launches new Gaza strike
Israel launched a new strike on the Gaza Strip and arrested more than 200 suspected militants in the West Bank on Sunday as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the army to use any means to stop rocket salvoes from Gaza.
The worst surge in violence since Israel's pullout from Gaza on September 12 after 38 years of occupation threatened a shaky ceasefire and put Sharon under pressure as he tried to defeat a rightist leadership challenge over the withdrawal.
Sharon ordered the army to do whatever it saw fit after his inner cabinet approved a resumption in assassinations of top militants, suspended in February, and gave a green light for troops to shell Gaza to stop attacks.
"We don't intend here to stage a one-time action, but intend to carry out a continued action, whose aim is to hurt the terrorists and not to let up," he told ministers.
Sharon spoke after a helicopter fired two missiles in northern Gaza. A military source said buildings used by militants were targeted. Similar strikes on Saturday killed two militants and hurt 20 people.