Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
Yahya Sinwar (left), the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, with senior political leaders Khalil al-Haya (center) and Ismail Haniyeh in southern Gaza on Feb. 24, 2017.

Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called on the ‎government to resume its policy of targeted assassinations against ‎Gaza terrorists, saying Hamas’s leaders “should be afraid for their ‎lives.”

Erdan made the remark in an interview with Channel 12’s early ‎news edition, which covered the massive barrage of mortar shells ‎fired at Israel’s south throughout the day. The Israel Defense Forces said more than 130 ‎mortars were fired at Israel on Tuesday.‎


He stressed that Israel had no interest in an escalation at the Gaza ‎border, “certainly not while we complete the underground [counter ‎tunnel] barrier, but on the other hand, I don’t think we know ‎whether Hamas and Islamic Jihad want it [an escalation] or not.”

Erdan stressed that Hamas, as Gaza’s ruler, is responsible for the ‎attacks, saying, “We assert that Hamas leaders control the situation ‎on the ground. Since this is the case, they should be afraid for their ‎lives. The policy of targeted assassinations should be reinstated this ‎evening.”‎

‏“When you shoot mortar shells at a kindergarten and continue ‎shooting when the children leave schools, you take into account ‎what Israel’s response could be if someone gets hurt,” he ‎added. “I think we should say, time’s up.”‎

Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, formerly GOC Southern ‎Command and a member of the Diplomatic / Security Cabinet, ‎echoed the call. ‎

‎“We will not tolerate any violation of our sovereignty or any attempt ‎to harm Israeli civilians,” he said. “We will defend our residents and our ‎soldiers, and deal terrorism a forceful blow. Every option should be ‎considered, including targeted assassinations against terrorists and ‎their handlers. None of them is immune, and we can get to all of them.” ‎


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