Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday that the Hamas commanders killed by the IDF overnight "were responsible for severe terror attacks against Israel's citizens and IDF soldiers, including the kidnapping of Gilad Schalit."
Ya'alon said that the IDF action was a great operational and intelligence achievement for the army and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
The defense minister vowed to continue to "pursue and hit Hamas leaders at any time and place. He who attempts to harm Israeli civilians is taking his life in his hands."
Ya'alon cautioned Israeli citizens to prepare for a long battle that would require "patience, perseverance and strength."
He said that Israel's goal was to return quiet to its citizens, particularly residents of the South, and it would not compromise in fulfilling that goal.