Barak: Israeli Elections Won’t Give Hamas “Immunity”
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that the upcoming Israeli elections would not give Hamas “immunity” to do as it pleased. In a visit today to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva where Israeli soldiers injured by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza at their jeep Sunday are convalescing, Barak said that “Elections will not affect the response of the IDF, but they affect the responses of members of the public on the issue,” according to the Hebrew-language Yediot Ahranot newspaper.
“You have to let the IDF plan and respond,” Barak said. “These events killed 20 terrorists and injured dozens of them. I trust the IDF and the political echelon can make the right decisions. I trust the Chief of Staff and Commander of Southern Command,” he also said.
Over the weekend more than 90 rockets launched from Gaza struck southern Israel. By mid-day Monday another eleven rockets had been fired from Gaza, two of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system and one of which landed next to a home in Netivot. Luckily there were no injuries, though several people were treated for shock. In the evening the IDF reported two more rockets headed towards Israel were intercepted by Iron Dome.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Sunday that “The world must realize that Israel won’t sit by idly in the face of attempts to attack us. We are prepared to escalate our actions.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, urged both sides to “refrain from exacerbating the situation” during a visit to Egypt Monday according to the BBC. It has been reported that Cairo is attempting to arrange a ceasefire between the two sides.