GAZA, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Israel's defense minister Sunday said he has authorized incursions further into Gaza in retaliation for Hamas attacks on southern Israel.
Ehud Barak's decision comes a day after an Israeli rocket attack reportedly killed five Hamas fighters in Gaza.
The Health Ministry in Gaza reported another eight were wounded by a helicopter attack following a strike near the village of Abassan, The New York Times reported. Hamas, which controls Gaza, said the men attacked near Abassan were on a night patrol to keep Israeli forces from crossing the border.
Former national security adviser Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland and former defense minister Amir Peretz are urging Israel's leaders to open diplomatic talks with Hamas on ending rocket fire from Gaza, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.