When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert left Israel almost a week ago for a trip to Japan, the country was still facing the daily barrage of rocket attacks from armed Palestinians in Gaza. However, there had not been fatalities for some time and the fire was largely aimed at Sderot, a town just a couple of miles from northern Gaza. Now, a civilian has been killed, manufactured Katyushas rather than home-made Qassams have landed in the heart of the large southern city Ashqelon, and Israel’s responses to the fire have not only killed armed Palestinians, but hit several civilians too. Olmert arrived home on Friday morning to a series of meetings with domestic security chiefs and next week will face tough talking with Egypt’s head of intelligence ‘Umar Suleiman and a second meeting in two weeks with United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In the middle, he is also slated to meet Palestinian leader Mahmoud ‘Abbas.
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