mofaz orders security chiefs, idf to step up war o

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    Mofaz orders security chiefs, IDF to step up war on Hamas

    Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has instructed his security chiefs to escalate their operations against Palestinian terrorist groups, and especially the Hamas.

    "We will use every means at our disposal against terror and against the Hamas, " Mofaz said Wednesday night after a meeting with senior IDF commanders and other security chiefs.

    Mofaz said actions such as arrests, targeted assassinations and other pin-point operations would be increased, instead of a wider military operation along the lines of the IDF's "Operation Defensive Shield" in April 2002.

    Security officials said it was obvious that the order to carry out Wednesday's terror attack was given some days ago and was not a response to the assassination attempt on Hamas leader and co-founder Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Israel Radio reported.

    Israel's security establishment and the IDF believe that the Hamas terrorist infrastructure in the West Bank city of Hebron under the leadership of Abdullah Kawasme is responsible for Wednesday's bus bombing which killed 16 and wounded more than 100.

    Sources in the security establishment point to the similarities between Wednesday's attack and the May 18 attack in Jerusalem's French Hill intersection.

    A Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a religious Jew boarded a No. 6 Egged bus at Jerusalem's French Hill intersection and blew himself up, killing seven passengers and wounding 20 others, four seriously.

    Wednesday's suicide bomber in Jerusalem also disguised himself as an ultra-Orthodox Jew. In addition, the explosive devices used in both attacks were similar in size and design
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