Hamas and Iran will pay “full price” for their terrorist attacks against Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet yesterday at the start of its weekly meeting, after Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Arouri threatened regional warfare.
“Hamas and other Iranian proxies understand very well that we will fight with all means against their attempts to promote terrorism against us – in the West Bank, in Gaza, and anywhere else.
“Whoever tries to harm us, whoever finances, whoever organizes, whoever sends terror against Israel – will pay the full price,” Netanyahu said.
It was a message he had broadcast last week as well, in the aftermath of two deadly West Bank Palestinian terrorist shootings in which three Israelis were murdered.
Israel blamed both Iran and Hamas for the attacks, linking the latest wave of terrorism, in particular to funding from Iran.
Netanyahu spoke after the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri, gave an interview about Israel from Lebanon to the news outlet Al Mayadeen.
Arouri vows to defeat Israel
“This extremist government will suffer a resounding defeat, which will lead to their withdrawal from the entire West Bank,” Arouri said. Further, he said that “the leaders of the occupation government, with their extremist policies, will cause an all-out war in the region.”
Netanyahu told the cabinet: “I also heard the verbiage by the senior Hamas official Arouri, from his hiding place in Lebanon. He knows very well why he and his colleagues are in hiding.
“I would also like to appeal to the citizens of Israel: We are facing waves of terrorism, both internal and external. These are not simple times; these are challenging times. We need to unite our forces against terrorism, against the crime in the Arab sector, and against the external and internal threats that are being organized, to a large extent, by Iran via its proxies.
“If we stand together, we will prevail. This is my call to all members of the government, MKs, and all Israeli citizens. The government of Israel is determined to fight the criminal organizations in the Arab sector. This is a national blight. I appeal to the Arab public. I appeal to the MKs, local council heads, and opinion-makers, and I tell them – stand together with the government in the joint effort against the criminal organizations.”