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February 6, 2020 11:10 am

Netanyahu: If Gaza Fire Continues, IDF Will Retaliate Before the March 2 Elections

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avatar by Israel Hayom / JNS.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting, in the Jordan Valley, on Sept. 15, 2019. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.

JNS.org – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that if Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip continue to launch rockets and airborne incendiary devices against Israel, he will order an extensive military operation in the Palestinian enclave before the March 2 general elections.

Netanyahu’s remarks were made during a meeting with the heads of the Israeli communities near the Gaza border, which came at their request after a week of steadily increasing attacks from Gaza, according to Channel 13 News.

In a particularly alarming incident on Wednesday, balloons carrying an explosive device were intercepted over a kindergarten in the Kiryat Gat area.

Responding to the increased tensions, the Israel Defense Forces announced earlier on Wednesday that it was reducing the size of Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 to 6 nautical miles off the Gaza coast, and Israeli warplanes struck Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire toward Israeli communities the previous night.

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The West Bank was also restive on Wednesday, with a Palestinian rioter shot dead in Hebron after hurling a firebomb at IDF troops.

This was the first fatality in the West Bank riots that erupted after last Tuesday’s reveal of the Trump Middle East peace plan.

The much-anticipated US peace plan is largely perceived as favoring Israel, and sparked calls in Jerusalem for the annexation of land the Palestinians want as part of a future state.

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