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February 21, 2018 11:38 am

Lieberman Promises IDF Soldiers Wounded in Gaza Border Explosion: ‘We Will Settle Scores’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

The Israel-Gaza Strip border. Photo: Mary Madigan via Wikimedia Commons.

“We will settle scores with those who set the explosive and those who sent them,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday to a group of IDF soldiers who were wounded in a recent bombing on the Gaza border.

The explosion took place last weekend, when an IDF patrol stopped to inspect a flag placed on the Gaza border fence. The flag was attached to an explosive device that detonated, wounding four soldiers. Three remain hospitalized.

A major security escalation followed the incident. A rocket was fired at southern Israel from Gaza and the IDF responded with air strikes and tank fire.

The Hebrew news site Ynet quoted Lieberman as telling the wounded soldiers during a stop at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, “I came to you directly from a visit to the Gaza border, where I received a security briefing on the event and its ramifications. The IDF will settle scores with those who set the explosive and those who sent them.”

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He reassured the soldiers, “The hospital staff will continue to give you the required medical treatment in order to bring you to recovery.”

Lieberman previously addressed the border incident on Monday, explicitly blaming the terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza, for the attack. “It is clear that Hamas was part of the explosion incident,” he said. “Hamas is using its citizens in the Strip as live ammunition.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the incident and the subsequent escalation, saying, “We don’t intend to reach a daily situation of attempts to violate our sovereignty or to harm our soldiers and civilians. Every act of aggression will be met with a determined and powerful response from us, from the IDF and the security forces.”

“We will not accept a drip or a drizzle [of rockets], we will not accept explosive devices on the border like last weekend,” Netanyahu continued. “Whoever hurts us — we will hurt them. Whoever does not work to lower tensions will bear the full responsibility. We will continue to protect the south.”

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