Catrina Stewart
The Independent
March 25, 2011 - 12:00am

A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza struck an area close to Tel Aviv yesterday in a bold attack that could provoke Israel into a decisive strike and bring it one step closer to a new Middle East war. The latest attack, which injured nobody and landed in an unpopulated area 15 miles south of the city, will unsettle Israelis, who are used to seeing low-grade rockets and mortars drop mostly harmlessly in areas close to Gaza, but rarely feel threatened in cities such as Tel Aviv.

"We have to respond," Israel's Defence minister, Ehud Barak, said at a joint press conference with the US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates one day after a bomb tore through a bus stop in Jerusalem. "Israel will not tolerate these terrorist attacks and we will not allow terror to rise once again."

The upsurge in rocket attacks comes after a series of deadly Israeli assaults on Gaza in the past week, including the killing of a senior Hamas operative and several Palestinian civilians in tit-for-tat air strikes and shelling.


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