Netanyahu: Israel will respond 'with great force' to mortar attacks

Netanyahu said that Jerusalem views with gravity the attacks that he attributed to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

By
May 29, 2018 12:59
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a weekly cabinet meeting in May 2018.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a weekly cabinet meeting in May 2018.. (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held high-level security consultations Tuesday evening to plan what he said will be Israel’s forceful response to the escalating violence from Gaza.

Netanyahu huddled in his office with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and other top security officials. He did not convene the security cabinet, something some interpreted as a sign that a largescale military operation was not in the immediate offing.

Earlier in the day, speaking at the 9th annual Galilee Conference in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Netanyahu said Israel would “respond with great force” to Tuesday morning’s barrage of mortar fire on the communities near the Gaza border.

Netanyahu said Jerusalem views with “utmost gravity” the attacks, which he attributed to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

“Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to harm it, and we view Hamas as responsible for preventing such attacks against us,” he said.
Israeli defense system shoots down Gaza mortar fire, Israeli kindergarten hit, May 29, 2018 (Reuters)

Katz told Army Radio that Israel does not want a war with Hamas in Gaza, but “will not allow attacks on its citizens.” He said that whether there will be a war is dependent now on Hamas. He also said that in Israel’s view, attacks on Nahal Oz and Sderot are the same as attacks on Tel Aviv.

The Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, instructed its diplomats abroad to demand a strong condemnation of the attacks from Gaza. The diplomats were told to stress that the missile attacks represented indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians, and that they have already resulted in injuries. The diplomats were also to stress that Israel holds Hamas, which acts in cooperation with Islamic Jihad, responsible for the escalation.

The EU’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, responded immediately to the mortar attacks on the South, tweeting about the barrage as “kids were preparing for school,” and saying that “indiscriminate attacks are totally unacceptable and to be condemned unreservedly.”

And UN Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov issued a statement saying he was “deeply concerned by the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants from Gaza toward communities in southern Israel.”

Mladenov said that at least one of the rockets “hit in the immediate vicinity of a kindergarten and could have killed or injured children. Such attacks are unacceptable and undermine the serious efforts by the international community to improve the situation in Gaza.”


He called on all parties to “exercise restraint, avoid escalation and prevent incidents that jeopardize the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”

Netanyahu, in his speech in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, also referred to the tension in the north, saying that he has made clear on many occasions that Israel has redlines in Syria.

“We will not allow Iran to entrench itself militarily in Syria and act against us from there, and also not to transfer dangerous weapons from Syria to Lebanon, or to manufacture them in Lebanon,” he said.

Netanyahu clarified that Israel is acting against Iran’s military presence throughout Syria, and not just near Israel’s border.

“An Iranian departure from southern Syria alone will not suffice,” he stressed. “The long-range missiles that Iran is working to station in Syria will endanger us even beyond the range of several kilometers from southern Syria; therefore, Iran needs to leave Syria altogether. We are not party to understandings to the effect that we have agreed to less than this.”

The prime minister said that with or without understandings, Israel will act according to its security interests.

“We will defend ourselves by ourselves, unified, united, and determined to ensure our security and our future,” he declared.

His words come amid reports of understandings with Russia that would push Iranian forces between 60-70 kilometers from the Israeli border.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Orthodox Jews on the Temple Mount
June 27, 2019
UN debates status of Jerusalem - watch live

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Cookie Settings