Israeli warplanes raided an Islamic Jihad outpost in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon, in retaliation for a massive mortar attack by the terror group on civilian populations just across the border. Arab sources said the planes fired seven rockets at a site of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, Saraya al-Quds. Al-Quds Brigades is the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, which is funded by Iran.
The Israeli bombardment caused material damage to the site, which was empty of fighters. The Israeli planes also launched another raid targeting a terrorist site in Khan Younis.
The Eshkol Regional Council issued a statement saying that “following the morning events, IDF activity is taking place in the Gaza Strip, and there is no change in the guidelines … In the coming hours there will be increased IDF presence in the council area, routine is maintained.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday addressed the 9th Galilee Conference in Ma’alot-Tarshiha, saying, “Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it and its communities by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will respond with great force to these attacks. Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to attack it, and we view Hamas as responsible for preventing such attacks against us.”
Netanyahu then added that “regarding Syria, I have made clear our red lines many times, and we will enforce them without compromise. We will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria and operate against us from there, and also not to transfer dangerous weapons from Syria to Lebanon, or to produce them in Lebanon.”
The PM and his defense minister have been successful over the past six months in turning a situation whereby Russia, Iran and Turkey had divided Syria among them, into a new reality where there is no safe haven for the Iranians in Syria.
“I would like to reiterate,” Netanyahu said, “We are acting against an Iranian military presence anywhere on Syrian territory. An Iranian departure from southern Syria alone will not suffice. The long-range missiles that Iran is working to station in Syria will endanger us even beyond the range of several kilometers from southern Syria; therefore, Iran needs to leave Syria altogether. We are not party to understandings to the effect that we have agreed to less than this.”
“In any case, we will always act according to our security interests, with or without understandings. We will defend ourselves by ourselves, unified, united, and determined to ensure our security and our future,” the PM concluded.