PM Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday afternoon "there is no cease fire" in the South, in reference to the recent escalation in violence along the Gaza border.
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at the start of a special cabinet meeting being held in Safed, the
prime minister warned: "The other side will pay a higher price then they
have already paid, until they stop firing."
Netanyahu's comments came as the IDF struck a Gaza cell
attempting to launch rockets at Israel and a day after an Israeli man was killed by shrapnel
when a Grad rocket hit Ashdod.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio Sunday night that continued terror from Gaza will eventually require weighing a fundamental response from the IDF.
"Responding to activity is not enough," Steinitz said, specifying that in the long run, a "root canal" to change the strategic situation might be necessary.
"We will weigh an intensive treatment for the arms problem, which will apparently be toppling Hamas from power and reestablishing control over the southern Strip in the area of the Philadelphi route."
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated the Israeli government's policy of
strict retaliation against those that harm Israelis, warning both Islamic Jihad and Hamas not
to test Israel.
in Safed at the opening of the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine
in the Galilee, Netanyahu went on to stress the importance of
remembering that "Hamas is the ruling power in Gaza, and it is [the
responsibility to preserving the quiet and to prevent [rocket] fire"
from the Strip," even if those launching the rockets are from Islamic
"It's not worthwhile for anybody to test our resolve" to
invoke the government's defense principles. "We will prevent every
attempt to shoot at Israel and we will hurt everyone who nevertheless
succeeds" at launching rockets.
Minister Ehud Barak also warned Islamic Jihad and Hamas leaders "not to test
our abilities," following a meeting with security and intelligence
chiefs on Sunday.
During the meeting, Barak examined plans for
IDF operations in Gaza to stop the rocket attacks on Israel. The
defense minister added, "We will do everything to protect the citizens
Also speaking at the medical school in Safed,
President Shimon Peres said "the government and the IDF will do
everything necessary in order to secure residents of the South and to
put an end to this intolerable situation."
Any country would respond as Israel does to indiscriminate rocket fire on its citizens, he added.
a message to "our Arab neighbors," the president said, "neither we nor
you want war, but [the] rockets from Gaza are [a borderline] declaration
of war. Reckless groups cannot be allowed to endanger our peace."
the majority of Arabs are trying to end oppression and poverty," Peres
said, "Hamas is bringing oppression and poverty to the Gaza Strip."