JERUSALEM — Israel is prepared to continue fighting Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip after the army completes its primary mission of destroying cross-border tunnels from the territory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday. "After completing the anti-tunnel operation, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will act and continue to act, in accordance with our security needs and only according to our defense needs, until we achieve our objective of restoring security to you, Israel's citizens," he said in a televised speech.
Netanyahu threatened to exact an "intolerable price" from the Gaza Strip's dominant Hamas Islamists should there be continued attacks from the Palestinian territory. "We do not accept a continuation of the shooting," Netanyahu told reporters. "It (Hamas) will have to understand, however long that takes, that it will pay an intolerable price, from its perspective, for continuation of the shooting." Since the conflict began, 1,712 Palestinians have died, including 112 people Saturday, according to the health ministry. In total, 9,080 people have been wounded. Israeli officials report that 63 soldiers have died since the start of the operation — adding to the three civilians who were killed by rockets and mortars fired into Israel.
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— NBC News and Reuters