Speaking to his Cabinet on Sunday, Israel's outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said Israel would respond “when and where we choose.”
The government's position, Mr. Olmert said, is that “if there is shooting at residents of the south there will be an Israeli response that will be harsh and disproportionate by its nature to the shooting at residents of Israel and at our forces.”
Hamas has not taken responsibility for any of the new attacks, which have been claimed by smaller militant groups. But Israel says it holds Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since seizing power in June 2007, responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu said Mr. Olmert's threat was an attempt by Israel to “find false pretexts to increase its aggression against the people” and to undermine Egyptian efforts to mediate a long-term cease-fire.
In case you were confused on what "disporportionate" really means. Cue the rationalizations.