Sharon threaens sharp reactions to attacks

July 24, 2005 at 12:22 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, July 24 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Sunday threatened "sharp reactions" against continued Palestinian attacks.

Speaking to the Cabinet the morning after Palestinian gunmen shot and killed an Israeli couple near the Kissufim Crossing to the Gaza Strip Sharon said, "Israel will not countenance this terrorism. I emphasized this issue in my meeting (Friday) with U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleeza Rice."

The security establishment has been instructed to "respond sharply against terrorist activity. I made it clear to her that our responses will be with very sharp means whether terrorism is perpetrated during the evacuation or afterwards."

In the attack, close to midnight, Saturday, gunmen fired at a civilian car heading for the crossing killing Rachel and Dov Kohl who were returning from a weekend with her sister.

The two gunmen were later killed.

The Islamic Jihad and Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades assumed responsibility for the attack, the Ha'aretz newspaper reported.

A Palestinian spokesman said "These operations at time of Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip...threaten our national security and weaken the PNA (Palestinian National Authority's) credibility on international level."

The PNA "Will spare no efforts to stop these harmful operations," the spokesman added according to the Palestinian State Information service.

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