Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that the IDF would continue to respond harshly to attacks against it as the IAF late Wednesday night executed a limited military strike on Gaza, killing a Jihad Salafist terrorist responsible for launching rockets against Israel.
"Our policy is clear - kill those who rise up to kill us,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s security forces, “will continue to take strong action against all those who try to attack the security of Israel's citizens,” Netanyahu said in a statement he issued late at night.
On Wednesday morning a rocket sent from Gaza narrowly missed a main artery in southern Israel as it landed in a nearby dirt field without causing any injuries.
Wednesday night the Israeli Air Force with the help of Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) targeted Mahmed Awwar, 33, of Beit Lahia, killing him from the air, in a joint operation with the Israel’s Security Agency.
The IDF charged that Awwar had been involved in many past rocket attacks against Israel, particularly in the last few months while he worked as a policeman for Hamas.
It noted in particular that Awwar had participated in a rocket attack on April 21, during Passover, which had targeted Sderot.
“This terror infrastructure is a violent and extremist Salami cell which has carried out several rocket attacks and has attempted to implement diverse terror attacks against Israel as well as attempts to target a helicopter.
“The preemptive strike was intended to prevent Awwar from executing further attacks he had planned against Israel,” the IDF said.
The Gaza launched rocket which hit the Eshkol region along Israel’s southern border was the first such attack since the new unity government jointly sponsored by Fatah and Hamas was sworn into office last week.
Israel has objected to the new unity government and now holds Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for Hamas’ actions.
“I would like to remind the international community that Abu Mazen - on the day he formed a government with the Hamas terrorist organization - promised to honor all previous agreements. This means that he is responsible for disarming Hamas and the other terrorist organizations of the arsenals in Gaza,” Netanyahu said.
“This is the true face of Hamas; it is continuing to plan terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens even as it inside the Palestinian government,” he said.