Benny Gantz: Hamas responsible for rocket fire from Gaza

The defense minister issued a warning to Palestinian terror groups, saying the unstable Gazan economy will suffer from another conflict.

Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon May 19, 2021. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercept rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon May 19, 2021.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Hamas is responsible for the rocket attack launched from Gaza onto southern Israel last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Sunday.

Speaking after a situational assessment in the South with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar and other military generals, Gantz issued a warning to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, saying the unstable Gazan economy will suffer from another round of the conflict in the strip.

Israel "will continue to show civil and financial generosity only if the security situation improves," Gantz said before adding that, "Israel has the capabilities to show its strength in the region."

The Israeli Air Force targeted a number of sites in Gaza on Thursday night, including a military compound used by Hamas' air-defense forces, in response to earlier rocket fire launched towards southern Israel. 

Terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip renewed aerial strikes against Israel on Monday with a rocket that was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system above the Gaza border communities. Rocket sirens in southern Israel were activated multiple times during the week, also due to machine-gun fire from Gaza.

 IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar on April 24, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY) IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar on April 24, 2022 (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Gantz also spoke about continuing clashes on Temple Mount and Jerusalem's Old City.

"Ramadan should be a month of prayer and family gatherings," the defense minister said. "Unfortunately, there are some who choose to pick stones and Molotov cocktails, rather than holy scripture."

"Israel is taking actions against [the Palestinian rioters] and continuing to provide freedom of worship at the same time," Gantz stated.

Earlier on Sunday, the defense minister met Beersheba mayor Ruvik Danilovich to discuss the progress of the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate's move to the Negev