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August 31, 2014 10:13 am

Netanyahu: Israel ‘Ready for Any Scenario’ in Gaza and Golan

avatar by Dave Bender

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with southern leaders. Photo: Haim Zach - GPO

Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with southern leaders. Photo: Haim Zach - GPO

The Israeli Air Force’s downing of a UAV from Syria that strayed into its airspace over the Golan Heights on Sunday underlined remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Jewish State was “ready for any scenario both in [the Gaza region] and in others including – of course – the Golan Heights.”

Speaking at the outset of the weekly Cabinet session, held in rocket-battered Ashkelon in identification with its residents, Netanyahu said Israeli forces had “struck Hamas very hard,” during the 50-days of Operation Protective Edge, meant to foil both rocket fire and terror tunnels into Israeli territory.

“The IDF and the ISA (Israel Security Agency – the Shin Bet) killed almost 1,000 terrorists, struck at the heads of the organizations, and struck at their network of tunnels and their terrorist high-rises. We foiled their rocket attacks, and their aggression from land, sea and air. We hit their command centers and delivered blows that Hamas has not experienced since it was founded. At the same time, Hamas withdrew from all of its demands for a ceasefire, with neither time constraints nor other conditions,” Netanyahu said.

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“I hope that the quiet that has been restored will last for a long time,” the PM said, continuing, “We will continue in keeping with our Zionist heritage, to develop our communities and our cities. I use the word develop, not just rebuild, because we have already started to do that.”

Netanyahu said the government was embarking on “a NIS 1.5 billion five-year plan – [for] Sderot and the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The intention is not only to rehabilitate agriculture and repair damage which has been done but also to assist industrial, economic and agricultural development, and of course the construction of additional security infrastructures. This is the first commitment and it will be realized today.

The second thing is that this month we will submit a similar package for the development of the cities and communities of the south. We are committed to them, we have always been committed to them. In recent years there has been accelerated development in the south; we want to strengthen it. The Zionist answer to those who seek our lives is not only to rebuff them and overcome them in any campaign but also to develop our state, in this case the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and in the south, and to develop the Negev as a whole.”

Netanyahu said one day before the opening of the school year, that the government appreciated their suffering and sacrifices throughout the operation, which kept swaths of Israelis across the south and center of the country close to shelters and away from summer camps, and other public events due to the incessant rocket fire.

“Israel’s children, two million Israeli children and their families, who will be going to kindergarten and school tomorrow, have endured a summer that was not simple, and I know that there is also great excitement and anticipation ahead of the opening of the school year. On behalf of the ministers, I would like to wish all of the children, especially those entering first grade, that they should all have a good, successful and safe year,” Netanyahu said.

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