PM Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi. (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO) (Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu began Wednesday’s cabinet meeting with harsh words for Palestinian terrorists and encouraging words for the county’s citizens.

By United with Israel Staff

After Islamic Jihad sent approximately 360 rockets from Gaza into Israel over a two-day span, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a blunt message to the Palestinian terror group.

According to a release by the PM’s media adviser, Netanyahu said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will continue “to strike Islamic Jihad after having targeted its senior commander in the Gaza Strip. He was responsible for most of the terrorist attacks originating in the Gaza Strip in the past year and he had been planning to carry out additional attacks in the days to come.”

Netanyahu’s comments referred to Israel’s targeted killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror chief Baha Abu al-Ata early Tuesday.

The PM commended that the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), IDF Intelligence, the Air Force and IDF Southern Command for the “successful operation,” which is “creating a new standard for targeting murderers and terrorists in the world.”

He also praised the soldiers manning the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system for successfully intercepting over 90 percent of the terrorists’ rockets. “This is exceptional work by our soldiers and commanders. I salute you,” he said.

“In the last 24 hours, we have destroyed important Islamic Jihad targets,” Netanyahu noted. “We targeted terrorist cells that planned to launch rockets at the territory of the State of Israel, several of which were caught in the act.”

The PM emphasized that Israel does not want an escalation in the region. However, it “would respond to every attack against us, and respond very sharply.”

He then warned Islamic Jihad to “understand this right now, instead of when it will be too late.”

Netanyahu said that he “believe[s] that Islamic Jihad is starting to internalize this message. They understand that we will continue to strike them without mercy. They understand that Israel is very strong and that our will is very great.

“We are determined to fight to defend our country and if they think that these barrages or these strikes will weaken us or lessen our determination, they are mistaken,” Netanyahu continued. “Therefore, they have but one choice – to stop these attacks or take more and more blows. The choice is theirs.”

The PM then told the citizens of Israel that stopping its enemies takes time. He also urged residents of the Holy Land to follow the directives of the Home Front Command in order to avoid injury or worse.

“Together we will continue to do everything that needs to be done to defend the security of the State of Israel and its citizens,” he said. “Together we will be victorious.”

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