Israel will resume and ramp up attacks on Hamas infrastructure in Gaza if Hamas and allied terrorists do not cease firing rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Tuesday.
“If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal, and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease — and that appears to be the case now — we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation to protect our people,” Netanyahu said.
Speaking to the press after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the prime minister noted that Israel’s security cabinet voted this morning to accept the Egyptian cease fire proposal and added that the goal of Israel’s military and diplomatic operations is to put end to rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli cities, in order to provide the citizens of Israel with the peace and quiet to which they are entitled.
“I know that you know that no country would sit idly by while its civilian population is subjected to terrorist rocket fire. Israel is no exception,” he said.
Netanyahu’s meeting with Steinmeier was part of a diplomatic offensive to garner international support for Israel’s current stance. The Israeli prime minister praised Steinmeier and called him “a great friend of Israel and an important statesman of Europe and the world,” and thanked him for visiting Israel during this time of crisis. Netanyahu also thanked “the many world leaders, including yourself, who unequivocally condemn Hamas for the rocket fire on Israeli cities and for the clear-cut support for Israel’s right to self-defense.
“In that spirit of friendship, welcome to Israel, welcome to Tel Aviv,” Netanyahu added.
More than 25 rockets were fired by Hamas at civilian targets all across Israel since 9 am, when the cease fire officially began Tuesday morning. No one was physically injured in the attacks, but damage was caused to property at several locations and numerous Israeli were severely traumatized, included several treated for shock.
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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