PM: If quiet in South violated we'll respond strongly

"The security of Israel's citizens is my chief concern and we will know how to defend the security of our people," Netanyahu says of recent round of violence from Gaza ahead of meeting with Norwegian FM.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 3, 2013 20:32
3 minute read.
A policewoman looks at the damage after a rocket fired from Gaza lands in Sderot, March 21, 2013

Sderot rockets. (photo credit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

 
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 analyses 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 Binyamin Netanyahu monitored the developments in Gaza throughout the day on Wednesday following a round of rockets and IAF airstrikes overnight. "If the quiet is violated, we will respond strongly," he said before his meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. "The security of Israel's citizens is my chief concern and we will know how to defend the security of our people."

Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel landed in open areas near Sderot on Wednesday morning, raising fears that violence could escalate in the area after months of relative quiet.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks.

The rockets struck just as parents were dropping off children at schools and kindergartens. The attacks triggered sirens and sent families fleeing for cover. 

The rocket attacks came after the IAF launched airstrikes on Gaza on Tuesday just prior to midnight, the first such operation since a truce ended an eight-day cross-border war in November. The airstrike followed the firing of a Palestinian projectile from Gaza  which exploded in southern Israel’s Eshkol region on Tuesday. The explosion occurred in an open area, and did not cause any injuries. Earlier on Tuesday, a Palestinian mortar fired at Israel failed to cross the border, and fell inside the Gaza Strip.

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett also met with Eide on Wednesday. Though the main purpose of the meeting was to discuss foreign relations and military cooperation between the two countries, Bennett used the opportunity to breach the subject of the changing dynamics in the south of Israel and the Gaza Strip.

"The thousands of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel have destroyed any remnant of the Israeli public's faith in the exchange of land for peace," Bennett told Eide.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The UN's envoy Robert Serry issued a statement saying he was "worried about the volatile situation on the ground" manifest by "renewed firing of rockets from Gaza" and "continued tensions over unresolved prisoner issues."

He said the "renewed violations of the ceasefire risk undermining the ‘understanding’ reached between Israel and Gaza on 21 November, and unraveling the gradual but tangible improvements achieved since then in the easing of the closure and the security situation in Gaza and southern Israel."

The United Nations "condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian areas," he said, "and calls on Israel to act with restraint.  The United Nations will continue to support Egyptian efforts to restore the calm and fully implement the ceasefire understanding as the only viable way to address the unsustainable situation in Gaza."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry said Paris "harshly condemns" the rocket fire on the "civilian population in south Israel," and called for the honoring of the ceasefire agreed upon in November.

An al-Qaida-linked group, Magles Shoura al-Mujahadeen, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's rocket salvo, saying it was responding to the death earlier in the day of a Palestinian prisoner in an Israel jail. There was no immediate claim for Wednesday's rocket fire.

Palestinian officials accused Israel of failing to provide timely medical treatment for the prisoner, Maissara Abu Hamdiyeh, 63, who died of cancer in an Israeli hospital. Israel denied the allegation.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, addressing the developments, said Wednesday, "The IDF struck in Gaza last night, as we see Hamas as being responsible for everything that is fired from the Strip at Israel. We won't allow any routine involving a drizzle of rockets at our civilians and forces. In the Golan Heights, our policy too is that we have no intention of ignoring fire from Syria at Israeli territory, whether intentional or not, and we'll respond to every attack."

Ben Hartman and Reuters contributed to this report.

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

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF