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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Ya’alon: ‘We Won’t Ignore the Fire’

Israel's defense minister is not about to allow terrorism to threaten southern Israel just because of any PA 'unity' government.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.
Photo Credit: Miram Alster / Flash 90

Israel will not ignore attacks from Gaza regardless of the views of the international community – or the United States, warned Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday.

Ya’alon told media, “We will not ignore the fire, or the attempted attacks whose purpose is to disrupt the lives of our citizens living in the south and to harm our forces.

“We will pursue and lay our hands on whoever threatens us,” the defense minister said.

“We will know how to act whenever and wherever necessary to thwart any attempts by terrorist forces in Gaza to strike Israeli citizens, just as we did last night.”

On Wednesday night, 33-year-old Gaza-based global jihad terrorist Mahmad Awar, a resident of Beit Lahia, was eliminated in a joint Shin Bet-Israel Air Force operation.

The strike followed a rocket attack on southern Israel earlier in the day.

The terrorist was killed in a surgical air strike with a missile fired at him while he was riding a motorcycle. A companion, 30-year-old Muhamed Ahmed – also of Beit Lahia — was also killed, and a third, Hamada Hassan, was injured.

In his “day job,” Awar worked as a Hamas ‘police officer’ but he was also responsible for firing numerous rockets at southern Israel. At the time of his death, Awar was plotting to shoot down an IDF helicopter with an anti-aircraft missile, according to a report by Rotternik. The threat was serious enough to warrant a pre-emptive strike by the military.

Most recently, Awar had been involved in a rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Sderot during the Jewish holiday of Passover.

“This terror infrastructure is a violent and extremist Salafi cell which has carried out several rocket attacks and has attempted to implement diverse terror attacks against Israel, as well as attempts to target a helicopter,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Office explained. “The pre-emptive strike was intended to prevent Awar from executing further attacks he had planned against Israel.”

Rachel Levy

About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.


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