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January 19, 2014 10:29 am

Netanyahu Warns Hamas of ‘Strong’ Israeli Reaction to Gaza Rocket Attacks

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avatar by Joshua Levitt

Prime Minister Netanyahu at his government's weekly cabinet meeting. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pledged a policy of “preventive action and strong reaction,” to any attacks against the Jewish state. His comments came hours after the Israel Defense Forces targeted a known Gaza terrorist who launched five rockets towards Ashkelon last week

At the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said: “We are determined to maintain quiet in the south. We will do so by a policy of preventive action and strong reaction against those who try to harm us or who harm us. I suggest that Hamas take our policy into account.”

Netanyahu also commented on the news that support for a Simon Wiesenthal Center exhibit — showing the Jewish connection to Israel over three millenia – was being pulled by UNESCO.

“UNESCO announced, over the weekend, that it was cancelling an exhibit that it had planned to hold in France on the connection between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. The explanation given was that it would harm the negotiations. It would not harm the negotiations. Negotiations are based on facts, on the truth, which is never harmful. But what does harm the negotiations is the automatic summoning of Israeli ambassadors in certain countries regarding matters of no substance, while significant violations by the Palestinian Authority pass without a response.”

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On Friday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the British, French, Italian and Spanish ambassadors to Israel that “their persistently one-sided positions against Israel and in support of the Palestinians is unacceptable, unbalanced and in disregard of the reality on the ground.”

Netanyahu said, “The one-sided approach toward Israel does not advance peace – it pushes peace further away. It strengthens the refusal of the PA to make actual progress in the negotiations. We hope that this conduct by the PA changes. The one-sided and unfair attitude toward the State of Israel does not advance the diplomatic process.”

He also addressed the state visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper who arrived in Israel on Sunday. “Canada is a faithful friend of the State of Israel. Under Stephen Harper’s leadership, it has taken a moral and steadfast position against attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Prime Minister Harper has expressed a clear, brave and moral stand regarding the truth and in regard to the standards that the international community needs to adopt regarding the State of Israel and the conflict here. I think that this is worthy of praise and I welcome him on behalf of the Government and people of Israel.”

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