Tuesday, February 7th | 17 Shevat 5783

February 9, 2020 7:36 pm

Israel’s Prime Minister, Defense Minister Threaten IDF Operation in Gaza as Rocket Fire Continues

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits next to Naftali Bennett during a Knesset session, March 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun / File.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday both issued warnings of possible Israeli military action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, against the backdrop of continuing rocket and explosive balloon attacks on southern Israel.

“I want to make it clear: We will not accept any aggression from Gaza,” Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting. “Only a few weeks ago, we targeted the senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, and I suggest that both Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories.”

“I will not go into detail about all of our actions and plans for the media, but we are prepared to take devastating action against the terrorist organizations in Gaza,” Netanyahu said. “Our actions are very strong and they have not yet ended, to put it mildly.”

Bennett, for his part, held a situation assessment with the commanders of the IDF’s Gaza Division on Sunday, and told the press afterwards, “I have just finished assessing the situation in the Gaza division. The State of Israel does not want to fight with Hamas in Gaza, but we have a commitment to security for the residents of the south.”

“The reckless conduct of Hamas leaders is bringing us close to taking deadly action against them,” Bennett said. “We will not announce when or where.”

“The action will be very different from its predecessors, no one will be immune,” he added. “Hamas faces the choice: to choose life and economic prosperity, or to choose terrorism and pay an unbearable price.”

In response, Hamas issued a statement on its television channel, saying, “We are warning the Zionist enemy against taking a stupid step against our people in Gaza.”

“If you dare you will bear the consequences,” the terrorist organization said. “We are not afraid of the threats, we will continue the path of resistance.”

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