Palestinian terrorists who try to harm Israel will be targeted - Yair Lapid

Defense Minister Benny Gantz emphasizes that the main goal is to protect the south's residents.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid leads a situational assessment amid tensions in Gaza, August 8, 2022 (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid leads a situational assessment amid tensions in Gaza, August 8, 2022
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

Anyone who tries to harm Israel knows that Israel will stop them, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Friday after the IDF launched Operation Breaking Dawn with the targeted killing of a top Islamic Jihad terrorist leader.

Lapid added that the strike was “aimed at removing a concrete threat to the citizens of Israel and the surroundings of Gaza as well as striking against terrorists and those who send them.”

“Israel’s government will not allow terrorist organizations to set the agenda in the surroundings of Gaza and with Israel’s citizens. Those who try to harm Israel should know that we will reach them.”

Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Lapid met later Friday at the Defense  Ministry with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Ronen Bar.

“The mission is to defend Israel’s cities and citizens,” said Gantz. “We won’t let anyone threaten or harm Israel’s citizens. Whoever tries, will get hurt.”

 BENNY GANTZ, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett in the Knesset last month getting ready for elections.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) BENNY GANTZ, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett in the Knesset last month getting ready for elections. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

A message to Gaza

“Residents of Gaza, in the last four days, the Islamic Jihad threatened to carry out an attack against Israel without caring about the security and civil consequences to the residents of Gaza,” Maj.-Gen. Rassan Alian, coordinator of government activities in the territories, said in a video message.

“The IDF struck those who worked to ruin stable security. We will not allow anyone to harm the security of Israel’s citizens. The responsibility is on Hamas. Who will it care for more? Gaza’s citizens or terrorist organizations?”Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev held a situational assessment with Police Chief Kobi Shabtai, as well as several other Israeli security and safety heads.

“We have no intention of allowing the terrorist organizations to threaten us and disrupt our lives, and the initiative led by the Israeli government proves that we will act anywhere and at any time to thwart these malicious intentions,” Bar Lev said, following the meeting.

He then called on residents of southern Israel to allow the police to carry out their tasks, and to observe their instructions throughout the country.

Naftali Bennet

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wished Israelis in the vicinity of Gaza a quiet Shabbat.

Merav Michaeli 

"Israel's citizens have a right to live in safety," said Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli. "No sovereign nation would agree to a siege on its citizens by terrorism.

“The roots and consequences of the Islamic Jihad’s terrorism are at the regional and international level, and the Jihad needs to know that all its activity, also outside of Gaza, is a target if they act against us.”

Benjamin Netanyahu

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted "sending strength to our security forces. We love you and are praying for your success."

"Israel's security has to be kept not with empty words but with action, initiative and courage," said Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar."

Bezalel Smotrich

MK Bezalel Smotrich encouraged Lapid and the security forces to stay the course. 

"Mr. Prime Minister, there have been and still are many disagreements over the government and the way it works," said MK Bezalel Smotrich. "At this time, you have our full support for the extended attack against the enemy.

"The residents surrounding Gaza are not second-rate citizens, and the ongoing lockdown because of Islamic Jihad threats is not acceptable."