The ruling Palestinian faction Hamas on Sunday called for a fresh terrorist offensive against Israel after nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces at the weekend during counter-terror operations in Samaria and Gaza.
A spokesman for the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority cabinet insisted that "the blood of our people is not cheap," and urged Palestinian terror groups to "use all possible means of resistance and to respond" to the killings.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, which is part of a power-sharing coalition with Hamas, said the Palestinian leader should suspend all contacts with Israel in response to the weekend violence.
Eight of the Palestinians were killed during arrest operations targeting wanted terrorists in the Samarian towns of Jenin and Nablus. All but one were armed and had engaged the Israeli forces sent to apprehend them. In northern Gaza, another terrorist was killed when an Israeli Air Force jet destroyed his car after he had launched rockets into southern Israel.