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August 17, 2021 10:49 am

Bennett Defends Lack of Response to Gaza Rocket, Says Israel Will Retaliate ‘Under the Conditions That Suit Us’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Jerusalem, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett defended on Tuesday his government’s decision not to immediately respond to a rocket fired at the southern city of Sderot the day before.

Israel’s Channel 13 reported that during a situation assessment in Israel’s south with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Bennett said, “We will act at the time, place, and under the conditions that suit us and nobody else.”

Bennett met with the soldiers who man the Iron Dome missile defense batteries and thanked them for their contribution to Israel’s national security.

“Our mission is to bring long-term security to the residents of the south and the Gaza border area,” Bennett said.

“From our point of view, the address in Gaza is Hamas,” he emphasized. “Not troublemakers and not anyone else — just Hamas.”

The rocket aimed at Sderot was the first since Israel’s brief conflict with Hamas in May, and came shortly after an Israeli undercover unit killed five terrorists.

Channel 13 stated that Israel intends to retaliate for the rocket fire, but is currently considering a series of options in order to strike a hard blow without prompting another round of escalation.

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