January 1, 2009 5:46 PM

Rejecting truce, Olmert vows 'iron fist' against Hamas

Israeli soldiers were poised Thursday to launch a Gaza Strip ground offensive as tough talk came from their political leaders. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to use an "iron fist" to pummel Hamas militants and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni politely rebuffed French efforts to broker a truce that might make a ground offensive unnecessary. An air strike killed a top Hamas military mastermind and 13 members of his family.

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