Palestinian Hamas members carry the body of Hamas militant leader Ahmed Ja'abari (C) during his funeral in Gaza City, 15 November: photo - EPA/MOHAMMED SABER: Below, Israeli stand in the living room of an apartment building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip and subsequently three people were killed in Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, 15 November: photo - EPA/OLIVER WEIKEN
A Hamas rocket killed five Israelis north of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, in retaliation to 13 Palestinians killed on Wednesday by Israeli Defence Force (IDF) fire.
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal condemned the killing of military commander Ahmed al-Jaabari and promised revenge.
"Men and women in Palestine, we will continue the resistance," Meshaal vowed at a meeting of Islamic leaders in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Thursday.
Meanwhile, an IDF spokeswoman said that over 120 rockets had been fired at civilians in southern Israel in the last seven days alone, and the killing of the Hamas military leader was an attempt to stop the attacks.
Israeli ambassador in Warsaw, Zvi Rav-Ner, told thenews.pl this morning: “I’m sure that Poland, which is quite friendly to Israel, will be understanding to the reasons why Israel had to undertake this operation to protect its population that had been for the last few weeks traumatized by the barrage of rockets that had been launched from Gaza to southern Israel."
The ambassador continued: “A million people have to spend their days and nights in shelters. This is unacceptable and I hope that this will be understood by both the Polish government and Polish public opinion."
“The main goal of the operation is first and foremost to stop the firing of rockets from Gaza to Israel."
“The second goal is to harm and diminish the potential of launching rockets from Gaza to Israel. Especially the long range missiles [that] in the last couple of months [the Palestinians] have imported. They have imported lots of long range missiles from Iran, Sudan, and Libya,” he claimed.
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip could destabilise the region.
"We are in contact with the people of Gaza and with Palestinians and we stand by them until we stop the aggression and we do not accept under any circumstances the continuation of this aggression on the Strip," Mursi said.
"The Israelis must realise that this aggression is unacceptable,” he added.
The ruling Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, a spiritual mentor of Hamas, called for a 'Day of Rage' in Arab capitals on Friday.
In Lebanon, the Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia Hezbollah denounced Israel's strikes on Gaza as "criminal aggression" and called on Arab states to "stop the genocide", Reuters reports. (pg/hh)