Netanyahu: We struck Syrian army forcefully and will continue to hit those who harm us

PM sends warning to Assad and vows to take further steps against Hamas, including house demolitions.

June 23, 2014 16:46
2 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.. (photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Israel's enemies throughout the Middle East on Monday that Israel would strike back if any of them attempt to harm the Jewish state.

Speaking at a meeting of his Likud Beytenu faction in the Knesset, Netanyahu praised the Shin Bet security service, police, and IDF for identifying and apprehending the murderer of police deputy major general Baruch Mizrahi, whose arrest was revealed Monday.

Netanyahu noted that he had ordered the demolition of the home of Mizrahi's killer, a Hamas operative released in the Gilad Schalit deal. He vowed to take more steps against Hamas, including more arrests and house demolitions.

The prime minister told the faction that he had taken steps against terrorists in Israeli jails. He said their visiting hours were cut to the minimum required by international conventions.

Responding to a question from Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon about Israeli prisons being "summer camps," Netanyahu said the terrorists' cell phone usage would be cut and they would not be permitted to watch the World Cup.

He also reported to the faction about the IDF's airstrikes in Syria that came in retaliation for the deadly missile attack that killed teenager Muhammad Karaka.

"We demonstrated strength overnight versus the Syrian army that took action against us and if there is a need, we will use more force. We will continue to take forceful action against anyone who harms us or attempts to harm us," Netanyahu said.

He received support from the ministers in his cabinet, including those on the Left. Finance Minister Yair Lapid reminded his Yesh Atid faction of the revenge taken following the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre when he said “Even if it takes time, we will get to all the kidnappers.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni did not show any impatience with the ongoing IDF action in Palestinian cities in the West Bank. She justified continued action against Hamas.

“Our central goal remains returning the kidnapped and arresting the kidnappers,” she told her Hatnua faction. “We won't stop until we accomplish our goals. Meanwhile, the IDF is acting to weaken the infrastructure of Hamas, a terrorist group that does not recognize Israel's existence.”

Livni said Israel must continue trying to reach an agreement with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for Israel's interest while taking action against Hamas and other terrorist groups.

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett told his Bayit Yehudi faction that following the arrest of Mizrahi's killer, the era of releasing terrorists was over.

“The concept of releasing terrorists has reached its end,” Bennett said. “It only leads to more deaths. They say it will bring peace or they get reformed. But we live in the Middle East and in the Middle East, a murderer remains a murder. The PA must be held accountable for funding killers and encouraging murder.

Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel said the opposition had lowered its profile to let the prime minister and defense minister do their work in bringing about the return of kidnapped teens Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Fraenkel.

“Speaking for all of us, I hope that there will be good news,” he said. “We are hoping for a miracle.”

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