Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said
Mahmoud Abbas "doesn't need an adjustment period; it's not that he doesn't know what's happening on the ground, he knows the commanders and all the people."
He made the comment Tuesday, Jan. 18, during a visit to the Erez checkpoint at northern Gaza with Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and various generals in the chain of command with responsibility for Gaza to discuss "various ideas on how to stop the firing of
Qassam rockets and mortar shells at Jewish communities," according to a spokesman for his office.
Sharon said he sees no difference between firing at Sderot, inside Israel's pre-1967 border, or firing at settlements inside the Gaza Strip. Regardless of the target, "we must take very strong special care to prevent the firing into communities," he said.
On the same evening as his visit, Shin Bet officer Oded Sharon, 36, of Gan Yavne, was killed and seven other persons wounded or injured by a suicide bombing at the Gush Katif crossing from central Gaza. The bomber triggered his mechanism after he was brought into a secondary search area, according to
Israel's Government Press Office.