The remarks come after the Iron Dome defense system intercepted two rockets fired by Palestinian militants at the city of Be’er Sheva on Saturday, shaking an already tenuous ceasefire after yet another cross-border flare up. The latest round of fighting was triggered on Tuesday when Israel killed a top commander from the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, deeming him an imminent threat.
Speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the latest round of fighting has not changed Israel’s policy when it comes to the Hamas-controlled enclave.
“I would like to reiterate - Israel has not committed to anything,” he said. “We maintain complete freedom of action and we will hurt whoever tries to hurt us.”
The rocket launch at Israel’s largest southern city early Saturday morning, prompted Israeli military to respond with a number of air strikes on militant targets belonging to Hamas, which appeared to have stayed on the sidelines during the latest flare-up.
“Over the weekend, Hamas fired rockets at Be’er Sheva,” said Netanyahu. “I instructed the IDF to immediately attack Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. “We are prepared for any scenario and the security forces know exactly which plans they must implement to defend the State of Israel in any arena.”
Israel’s leader went on to thank the security forces for successfully carrying out the targeted killing of terror leader Baha Abu al-Ata, an operation dubbed “Black Belt.”
“I would also like to thank the members of the government for unanimously approving the important decision to embark on this operation,” he said. “The goals of the operation were fully met.”