Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Defense
(L-R) Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis in a news briefing on Tuesday the IDF hit back at anyone who attempts to attack the State of Israel.

Flanked by Nadav Argaman, head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, the prime minister emphasized, “Terrorists think they can hit civilians and hide behind civilians. We showed we can hit the terrorist with minimal damage to civilians.

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“Whoever thinks that it is possible to hurt our citizens and evade our long arm – is mistaken. We have proven that we can attack with surgical precision anywhere terrorists hide. Whoever hurts us – we will hurt them.

“Anyone who thinks they can hit our civilians and get away with it is wrong. If you hit us, we will hit you,” Netanyahu underlined. He called top Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Ata a “ticking time bomb” and said his assassination had been approved by Israel’s Security Cabinet 10 days prior.

Kochavi explained that Abu Ata had been the person in Gaza who consistently tried to undermine the efforts between Israel and Hamas to reach a ceasefire.

“In recent days he was the one working to perpetrate attacks against Israel. We tried to foil his efforts in different, various ways but without success. We then recommended a targeted assassination.” Abu Ata was said to have been planning another series of attacks on the Jewish State when he was killed early Tuesday morning.

The IDF Chief of Staff said last night’s surgical strike that eliminated Abu Ata was carried out at the very best time, in the best way possible, from a technical perspective.

Netanyahu also implored Israeli citizens throughout the country to listen to the directives of the IDF Home Front Command.

Citizens of Israel, I request that you strictly follow the instructions of IDF Home Front Command. These instructions save lives. Do not take unnecessary chances. All that needs to be done is simply to follow these instructions. We have considerable experience on this score and it is important to the security of each and every one of you and of your families.

“I would like to reiterate: Israel is not interested in escalation, but will do everything necessary to defend ourselves,” the prime minister repeated.

“And I say in advance: This could take time. Patience and composure are required,” he emphasized.

“The IDF must be allowed to do its work.”

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