Israel's prime minister Ehud Olmert has promised Hamas will be hit hard following the attack at Nahal Oz that killed two Israelis on Wednesday. Speaking at a party meeting, he said an operation was imminent that would prevent the group "from operating as it does today".
Fuel supplies into Gaza, pumped from the Nahal Oz crossing, have been stopped, and while residents of the town buried the victims, Israeli intelligence released a report saying Hamas is in the middle of an arms build-up, buying longer-range rockets and anti-tank weapons, with support from Iran and Syria. It added it believed Hamas could throw 20, 000 fighters into the field to try and repel any major Israeli ground assault.
Nahal Oz is the only remaining oil terminal supplying Hamas-controlled Gaza and its one and a half million people. Its closure will add to their misery.
But, at the funerals of the Hamas killers who died during their raid, the atmosphere was one of defiance and resistance.
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