Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a graduation ceremony for IAF cadets at the Hatzerim Air Base near Beersheba on Thursday, rejecting the idea that Israel is guilty of war crimes.
"There are those in the international community who accuse you, IDF pilots, of committing war crimes. You defend the country and the country will defend you," he said.
"The foremost mission for you, and for all of us, is to protect our home, to protect the state of Israel," Netanyahu said.
"Our policy to carry this out is two-fold. First, to prevent and thwart attacks when necessary, and to respond forcefully to every attack," he said.
Speaking a day after the IDF responded to sniper fire from Gaza with an IAF air strike and tank fire directed against Hamas targets, Netanyahu said, "We will not accept attacks against us, not from Gaza, not from the Golan, not from the Lebanon border or from anywhere. Therefore, the IDF responded with force to attempts by terror organizations to rear their heads in recent days."
He issued a warning to Hamas, saying that Israel finds the group responsible "for every violation of the quiet in Gaza and we will act accordingly. Our preventative measures are wide, and the Air force has a central role in carrying out this policy, in the air, at sea and on land."