IDF soldiers near Ashkelon search for rockets_370.
(photo credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters)
Even as scores of missiles fell in the South over the weekend in response to
Israel’s killing of Zuhair Qaisi, head of Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committees,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Saturday that Israel would “continue to
hit anyone trying to attack Israeli citizens.”
Netanyahu’s comments came
during conversations over the weekend with the heads of the nine municipal and
regional councils in the South coming under heavy rocket fire. At the same time,
he told them, Israel would strengthen protection of the home front through the
deployment of more Iron Dome batteries, which he said proved their efficiency in
the last couple days.
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launched over 100
rockets, with some 67 exploding in Israeli territory. The Iron Dome
intercepted 90 percent of those it targeted.
The regional and municipal
heads said the Iron Dome batteries were giving them a greater sense of
Netanyahu did not convene a special meeting of the security
cabinet, and is expected to update his ministers on what happened over the
weekend at Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
Over the weekend he received
constant updates from his military secretary, Maj.-Gen. Yohanan
Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said at a
cultural event Saturday that Israel viewed gravely Hamas’s attempts to drag
Israel into a war of attrition in the South.
“The residents of the South
will not be at the mercy of Hamas, and the Israeli government will not accept
that situation, and will eliminate the terror infrastructure and hit the
terrorist leaders,” he said.
Ayalon said the leaders of all the terrorist
groups in Gaza – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the popular committees – were “dead
men walking,” and that “no one had immunity.”
Ayalon said that as a
result of the weakening security situation in Sinai, arms from Libya were being
smuggled into Gaza, upgrading Hamas’s capabilities there.
Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a member of the security cabinet, said that the IDF
action that precipitated the barrage of rockets was done to protect Israeli
“Anyone who works to carry out attacks or fire rockets against
Israel is a target,” he said. “Israel will continue to act to protect its
Government officials said that even though Hamas did not fire
off the barrage of rockets, Israel held it responsible.
“We have no
illusions about those who control Gaza, and won’t allow Hamas to sub-contract
out attacks on Israel,” one official said. “It just won’t be tolerated.”