Speaking at a ceremony dedicating Bar-Ilan University's new medical faculty in Safed, Netanyahu stressed that while Israel does not seek to deteriorate the security situation, "we will defend ourselves according to these principles."
- Fragile cease-fire holding in south
- 11 rockets fired at south overnight, early Sunday
Op-ed: The Islamic Jihad threat
Netanyahu and Peres in Safed on Sunday (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
The prime minister noted that the terrorist cell that was gunned down on Saturday in Gaza "was the same cell that fired the Grad rocket at Be'er Tuvia (Regional Council) on Wednesday".
However, it appears Netanyahu did not receive the IDF Spokesperson's latest update which asserted that the targeted cell was not involved in the launching of the Grad at Ashdod Wednesday. The army said that the cell had only used the same technology that was applied by the terrorists that fired the rocket on Wednesday.
Netanyahu added, "Anyone who prepares to fire at Israel and we have information about it, we will target him in order to foil the shooting. It is a standard directive that is used whenever there is information."
Netanyahu called the IAF strike "a precision operation that only targeted Islamic Jihad operatives. In return, the group began randomly shooting at population centers in Israel."
Damaged house in Ashkelon (Photo: Eliad Levy)
The prime minister sent his condolences to the family of Moshe Ami, who was killed late Saturday by a rocket that struck the city of Ashkelon.
"Hamas controls Gaza. It is responsible for preventing rocket fire from Gaza and for maintaining order in Gaza, even if the perpetrators were Jihad members. I recommend to all factions not to test our resolve to implement the two principles I mentioned earlier," the prime minister said.
President Shimon Peres, who also attended the ceremony in Safed, blamed Hamas for the rocket fire from Gaza and said that the group "bears full responsibility for everything happening in the south."
According to Peres, the firing of rockets from Gaza was a "declaration of war."
"Hamas claims that it controls Gaza and so the direct responsibility for everything that happens there lies with the group. The writing is on the wall, and they will bear the harsh consequences of their actions," Peres added.
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