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July 17, 2022 9:02 am

Israel Vows to Respond ‘Without Hesitation’ to Rocket Attacks From Gaza Strip

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes on Gaza City, in response to the firing of rockets from Gaza towards Israel. Photo: Yousef Masoud / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid pledged Sunday that the government will continue to act “quickly” and “forcefully” against rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory.

“This government’s policy has not changed,” Lapid asserted at Sunday’s Cabinet meeting. “We will respond quickly, forcefully and without hesitation to every launch and every incendiary balloon.”

Two rockets were launched on Friday night from the Gaza Strip at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, with one intercepted and the other landing in an open area. Another two rockets were fired towards areas northeast of the territory, the IDF said, landing in open areas.

Responding to the attacks, IDF air strikes hit Hamas targets in Gaza, including an underground facility used to manufacture rockets.

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“The site that was targeted is one of the most significant production sites in the Gaza Strip for rockets used by terror organizations,” the IDF stated. “The strike on this site will significantly impede and undermine Hamas’ force-building capabilities.”

Lapid commended the IDF on a “strong and precise operation.”

The launches from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip came hours after US President Joe Biden concluded his diplomatic visit to Israel and left for Saudi Arabia, as part of a Mideast trip aimed at deepening Israel’s regional integration. During the visit, Lapid and Biden signed the “Jerusalem Declaration” to formalize a strategic partnership, which included a joint pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, while Saudi Arabia announced the opening of its airspace to air carriers from Israel.

“We bid farewell to US President Joe Biden, following a historic visit with diplomatic, security and economic achievements that will strengthen the State of Israel for years to come: Starting with the flights over Saudi Arabia that will save Israeli citizens considerable money and time and through the Jerusalem Declaration, that assures the qualitative advantage of the Israeli security establishment,” Lapid said Sunday.

“Throughout the visit, I made it clear to the President and his team that Israel opposes the nuclear agreement and reserves its right to full freedom of diplomatic and operational action against the Iranian nuclear program,” he emphasized.

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