If violence persists, Israel will act with great force against Gaza, PM vows

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars over the ‎last 10 years, in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

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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