Barak: We'll continue responding as long as necessary

Defense minister at Gaza border says Hamas must understand what is allowed and what is forbidden; Peres tells UNSC that Gaza has transformed into terror state; PM in Germany: Israel won't tolerate terrorist attacks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 7, 2011 22:38
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Barak and Chief of Staff Gantz

Ehud Barack and Benny Gantz 311. (photo credit: Ariel Harmoni / Defense Ministry)

 
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Speaking at the IDF's Southern Command Thursday night, Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke about an earlier incident in which a teenager riding in a school bus was critically injured by an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip.

Barak called it a "very serious event that hit deep into Israeli territory from deep within the Gaza Strip. That is something that we cannot accept."

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Commenting on IDF air force and artillery strikes on the Gaza Strip, the defense minister said: "The actions being taken right now are a response to [the attack] and they will continue as long as necessary in order to make clear that things like this cannot continue."

The IDF spokesperson Thursday night said that the air force had struck nine targets in the Gaza Strip hours before and that artillery forces had struck the area where the anti-tank missile was fired from.

The responses by the IDF are both purposeful and effective, Barak said, adding that, "We see Hamas as responsible for everything originating in Gaza, and we expect that Hamas will understand what is allowed, and of course, what is forbidden."

Earlier Thursday, at the United Nations in New York, President Shimon Peres called the attack "another clear example of Gaza's transformation into a terror state. Is the UN able to guarantee that acts of terrorism will not happen?"

"None of you would give up on the security of your country, and Israel will also defend itself," Peres told UN Security Council ambassadors.

The president stressed to ambassadors that, "Hundreds of thousands of mothers and children in southern Israel are not able to sleep peacefully at night as a result of rocket fire from Gaza."

Earlier, Barak said he had ordered the IDF to respond speedily and with every means necessary to the bus attack on Thursday afternoon which left two Israelis injured.



Shortly after the statement was issued, an IAF helicopter machine-gunned targets in the Strip, for the first time since Operation Cast Lead.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was briefed on the attack during his state visit to Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said that Israel would not tolerate attacks from terrorist organizations, Israel Radio reported.

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