Ariel Sharon gives 'free hand' to military for crack-down

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Just seven days after the election of the new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered his military today to perform a new crackdown on Palestinian militants in resonse to another set of attacks on Israelis.

Now Sharon has told his military to "take any action needed without restriction". Sharon said: "Despite the change in Palestinian leadership, we have yet to see them taking any action against terror."

This follows Thursday's killing of six Israelis in an attack on a Gaza Strip crossing point. As a result, the Israeli government cut all communications with Abbas.

Yesterday Palestinians fired rockets into Israeli territory, injuring two people. In response, Israeli troops mounted raids into the Gaza Strip, killing eight Palestinian terrorists.

Mahmoud Abbas was elected on a platform of curbing the activities of the terrorists and pursuing peace with Israel.