Bennett warns IDF will act against Gazan terror groups at right time

DM Bennett: Our enemies have become accustomed to firing rockets with no consequences

Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel as seen from the city of Ashkelon, Israel Ashkelon November 1, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/ AMIR COHEN TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missiles as rockets are launched from Gaza towards Israel as seen from the city of Ashkelon, Israel Ashkelon November 1, 2019
Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett warned terror groups in the Gaza Strip that the IDF will act at the right time in the blockaded coastal enclave during a visit to southern Israel after a night of rocket fire.
We need to move from a defensive approach to an attacking approach. Whatever we'll do - we'll do it at the right time - in the right way and with great power. No one will drag us to it. A good ruse is served cold, not when the blood is boiling and the other side waits of it.” he said during a visit to the college town of Sderot on Sunday night.
Bennett visited the city and met with the heads of local authorities as well as residents of Sderot.
“Our enemies have become accustomed to firing towards the State of Israel. We need to change that,” he said. “All our enemies, from Iran through Hezbollah to ISIS in Sinai, want to break us. But don't get confused, because we win. The people of Israel will win.”
His visit was also attended by Gaza Division commander Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano and other security officials hours after Israeli Air Force jets carried out a series of retaliatory airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza after three rockets were fired from the Hamas control enclave toward southern Israel on Friday.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, IAF jets and helicopters struck several terror targets, including a Hamas terrorist camp, including its warehouses, offices and security posts. In addition, a military position of the naval force of Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip was struck and destroyed.
“Hamas is responsible for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences for actions against Israeli citizens,” the military said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Hamas called the overnight strikes as a “dangerous step” and that Israel “will bear the consequences of its actions.”
“Israel’s insistence to continue the escalation in Gaza by bombing the resistance is a dangerous step that cannot be taken lightly,” the ruling group said in a statement. “Israel must bear the consequences.”
On Sunday morning, Bennett said that Israel’s enemies need to “understand one simple thing - not to fire [rockets] towards the State of Israel, and whoever fires will pay a price,” he said the Makor Rishon conference. “We have allowed our enemies to get accustomed that it is okay. We have to change the equation, it takes time, but our enemies will realize that they cannot shoot at Jews anymore.”
Incoming rocket sirens were activated at around 9 p.m. in Sderot and surrounding communities bordering the northern part of the blockaded coastal enclave. According to the Israeli military, all of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller reported that paramedics and EMTs treated a 40-year-old woman and her daughter, 10, and a 27-year-old male. All were lightly injured. Another two people were treated by MDA for stress symptoms.
According to KAN Radio, IAF aircraft were scrambled to the northern Strip three times on Saturday following reports of suspicious activity near the border, but returned to base after checking that there had been no infiltration into Israel.
Also on Saturday, the IDF said troops arrested two unarmed Gazans who crossed the border fence in southern Israel. They were arrested and taken in for questioning.
The rockets come a day after Hamas resumed the “March of Return” protests after a three-week break following Operation Black Belt between the IDF and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which saw more than 400 rockets fired toward southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv.
On Friday, an estimated 4,000 Gazans took part in the protests, with hundreds rioting and throwing explosive devices and rocks at IDF troops deployed at the fence, who responded with riot dispersal means. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said that 27 Palestinians were injured.
Also on Friday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi met with the mayors of communities bordering the Gaza Strip and said that following the last round of violence, in which Hamas did not fire one rocket, there is a chance to negotiate a long-term ceasefire with the terrorist organization.
“The IDF’s actions in ‘Black Belt’ succeeded due to the resilience of residents of the Gaza periphery and your leadership, and it allows us a special opportunity to create a different reality in the region,” Kochavi said.
Kochavi was joined by the head of the Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, and the Gaza division commander Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano.