Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pledged to ensure peace is restored in Israel’s South following an increase in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip which continued on Sunday morning.
“Overnight we were active against many Hamas targets in Gaza and the goal of all of our operations is to restore quiet and security to all of Israel’s citizens, especially the residents of the south,” he told ministers at his government’s weekly cabinet meeting. “Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the south.”
Terror cells in the Gaza Strip fired Grad rockets at Beersheba and Ashkelon on Saturday evening, escalating their ongoing attacks on Israel. Israeli warplanes responded by striking rocket-launching targets in Gaza before dawn on Sunday.
Netanyahu also referenced action taken by security forces over the weekend to stem violent riots in Jerusalem and Arab communities following the brutal murder of an Arab last week. “We are taking a tough line against anyone who breaks the law and against inciters from whatever side,” he said.
The Prime Minister also called upon Arab leaders to “show responsibility” and speak out against the recent wave of disturbances in order to reestablish quiet. “Whoever does not abide by the law – will be arrested and punished severely,” he said.
“There is no place in the State of Israel for stone-throwing at police, throwing firebombs, blocking roads or destroying property, or incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel,” he noted. “This rope cannot be held from both ends. One cannot benefit from National Insurance payments and child allowances on the one hand and, on the other, violate the most basic laws of the State of Israel.”