If the attacks from the Gaza Strip do not cease ”Israel will act with great force” to quell them, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday during a visit to the headquarters of the IDF’s Gaza Division.
The visit took place shortly after Gaza terrorists fired two Grad rockets at Israel. One directly hit a two-story house in Beersheba, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border, lightly injuring six people. The other landed off the coast of a major central Israeli city, causing no damage or casualties.
Israeli fighter jets struck 20 Hamas positions in Gaza in retaliation, eliminating underground infrastructure, Hamas bases, weapon and rocket mills, as well as an undersea terror tunnel.
”I just concluded a situation assessment with heads of the IDF and the defense establishment,” Netanyahu told reporters after the meeting. “The attacks against Israel on the fence, against the communities near Gaza, against Beersheba, everywhere, are very serious. As I said to the cabinet earlier this week, if these attacks don’t stop, Israel will make them stop, and we will do so with great force.”
GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi told reporters that “Hamas presumes to rule Gaza and tells its residents how it is making their situation better. The fact is that the border riots, incendiary balloons and rocket fire only make things worse for them, as they prompt major Israeli strikes.”
”The IDF is ready for any scenario and we know how to mount an even more forceful response if needed,” he warned.
The escalation in Gaza also prompted an emergency meeting of the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.
During the course of the five-and-a-half-hour meeting, local media reported that Hamas leaders went underground, anticipating a harsh Israeli response to Wednesday’s rocket attacks.
Sources present at the meeting told Israel Hayom that the majority of the cabinet members believe that launching a military campaign in Gaza at this time would not serve Israel’s interests.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars over the last 10 years, in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
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