Friday 2 January 2009

Israel fears Hamas strike on Dimona nukes

Hamas retaliatory attacks have alarmed Israel with officials anticipating that the Dimona nuclear complex might become the next target.

Tel Aviv has shunned international calls for an immediate halt to its military campaign on the Gaza Strip, despite the Israeli military campaign against the impoverished sliver having left at least 436 Palestinians dead and some 2,250 others wounded.

Some Israeli officials say the aim of the operation is to stop rocket attacks launched from the strip, while some have claimed Tel Aviv has launched the attacks to "topple Hamas".

In retaliation to the raids on Gaza, Hamas has launched at least 280 rockets into Israel, hitting targets 25 miles (40 kilometers) into the occupied lands.

Israeli officials were quoted by the Times Online as saying on Friday that Hamas may have acquired longer range rockets, which would enable the group to target the sole Israeli nuclear plant in Dimona.

Israel, according to former US president Jimmy Carter, is the owner of the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East. Dimona is believed to be housing the Israeli nuclear warheads.

As the death toll continues to rise in Gaza, Israeli tanks and troops have massed along the Gaza border and are reportedly preparing for a full-scale ground incursion into the impoverished area -- home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since Hamas took control of the area in mid-June 2007, after winning the majority vote in the 2006 Palestinian election.

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