A senior Hamas official said Monday that the Gaza leadership won't end rocket attacks on Israel, despite the reported deaths of 500 people during Israeli reprisals.
Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel prompted Israeli forces to launch a military campaign in Gaza 10 days ago, which culminated in a major ground offensive at the weekend.
"We salute the resistance men," Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a televised address from an undisclosed location in Gaza.
"They (Israeli forces) shelled everyone in Gaza ... they shelled children and hospitals and mosques and in doing so, they gave us legitimacy to strike them in the same way," he said.
"Our demands are clear: the problem is not in the Qassam rockets. The problem is in the aggression and the troops and the siege imposed on us."
His comments came as Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told foreign representatives Monday that the equation in the Middle East has changed with the Jewish state's military incursion into Gaza.
"Before the military operation, Hamas targets Israelis whenever it likes and Israel shows restraint," Livni told foreign ministers from the EU. "This is no longer going to be the equation. When Israel is targeted, Israel is going to retaliate." Watch a report on the continued fighting »
Al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, served as the Palestinian foreign minister under the Hamas-led government before it was dissolved by President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007.
He is believed to be the mastermind of the takeover of Gaza, in which Hamas fighters battled Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas' Fatah movement.
Al-Zahar's son was killed in an Israeli airstrike in January 2008. Hamas leaders have been in hiding since Israel began its Gaza bombardment on December 27.
Meanwhile, 30 targets were hit overnight in Gaza, according to the Israeli military, including an underground munitions bunker and what it said was a mosque that was used to store a large amount of weapons. A number of militants are known to have been killed when a rocket launcher was destroyed, a military spokesman said, but no number was given.
Israel Defense Forces said it targeted tunnels that Hamas has used for moving weapons into Gaza under the border from Egypt, and the Israeli navy shelled targets in Gaza.
The Israeli military said 47 rockets were launched from Gaza
into southern Israel on Sunday -- including 12 Grad rockets. Four Israelis -- one soldier and three civilians -- have been killed in the ongoing rocket strikes, Israeli officials said. iReport.com: Share reactions to 'all-out war' in Gaza
also stepped up its psychological campaign Monday, trying to turn the citizens of Gaza against Hamas
. "Urgent message, warning to the citizens of Gaza," said a recorded phone call to Gaza resident Moussa El-Hadad.
"Hamas is using you as human shields. Do not listen to them. Hamas has abandoned you and are hiding in their shelters."
The Israeli military said the ground assault -- launched late Saturday -- is the second phase of the operation to stop militants from firing rockets and mortars into southern Israel.
On Monday, at least 20 people died in Israeli attacks, Palestinian medical sources said. The dead included 13 members of a family in Gaza's Zeitoun neighborhood and seven members of another family in Gaza City.
With those deaths, the sources said 530 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its military operation on December 27, including at least 100 women and children. In addition, 2,600 Palestinians have been injured, most of them civilians, the sources added.
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