Israel Targets Gaza Terror Operative; Netanyahu, Ya’alon Warn Would be Attackers
Israeli aircraft successfully targeted a Popular Resistance Committees terror operative in the central Gaza Strip early Sunday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
The target, Abdallah Kharti, born in 1985, was affiliated with global Jihad and was involved in numerous incidents of rocket fire towards Israel, the IDF said, adding that it, “operated in order to eliminate an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli civilians.” According to local reports, Kharti was hit while riding a motorcycle, and is now in critical condition. The reports also said that another man was injured in the strike.
“Kharti was responsible for an August 2012 attack on Route 12 that killed 12 Israelis, and for rocket fire on the southern town of Eilat, according to Israeli security sources,” the Times of Israel added, citing Israel’s Shin Bet security service.
Hours later, speaking at the start of his government’s weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned, “Our resolute policy against terrorism may be summed up in a single principle: Whoever attacks us or plans to attack us – will bear the consequences.”
Since the beginning of 2014, 33 rockets have been launched from Gaza at Israeli territory, the IDF pointed out. Some of those rockets were launched during the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, last month.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman said: “Precision munitions combined with advanced intelligence enables us to strike terrorists like Kharti while they attempt to use Hamas’s Gaza as a haven for their hostilities. Gaza terrorists will not be immune to launch these cross border attacks at Israeli civilians.”
Israel regularly stipulates that it holds terror group Hamas responsible for all terror attacks emanating from the Gaza territory that it controls.
“We will not tolerate the disruption of our citizens’ lives and will act forcefully against anyone who harms or tries to harm Israel,” Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon said in a statement following the targeted strike. “We see Hamas as responsible for what happens in the Gaza Strip, and if it does not know how to impose its authority in this territory, it will also pay the price.”