Palestinians Fire Rockets At Israel; Netanyahu Threatens War

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A masked Palestinian militant checks the damage following overnight Israeli airstrikes on an Islamic Jihad military base in the town of Khan Younis, Southern Gaza Strip, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Gaza militants resumed their intense bombardment of southern Israel on Monday, with some rockets slipping through Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and one landing in the yard of a kindergarten.

There was no word of casualties, but the second day of violence threatened to unleash a new round of hostilities just a week before Israel heads to elections. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened Gaza’s Hamas rulers with a “war” if the new round of rocket fire continued, ramping up his rhetoric amid the final stretch of his campaign.

Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio, Netanyahu said he’d conveyed a message to Hamas that if it did not stop Gaza militants behind the attacks, Israel would target Hamas directly.

“If you don’t shoot them, we will shoot you. I’m talking about a war,” he said. “I only go to war as a last option but we have prepared something you can’t even imagine.”

Netanyahu’s interview was interrupted with news of fresh air raid sirens warning of incoming rockets, as Palestinian militant fire resumed midday after a morning lull. The Israeli military said it identified 14 rockets fired in the hour-long spree, of which it intercepted 12. Shortly after, the military began striking militants sites in Gaza.

The Islamic Jihad militant group fired at least 20 rockets on Sunday after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian militant who had tried to place a bomb along the Israel-Gaza barrier fence, and then removed his body with a bulldozer. The image outraged Palestinians who fired rockets. Israel responded by striking militants targets in Gaza and Syria. As a precaution, schools were closed in Israeli areas adjacent to Gaza and restrictions placed on outdoor public gatherings.

Israel and Hamas have engaged in three wars between 2008 and 2014 and several intense rounds of violence after that. Israel and the Islamic Jihad group engaged in a heavy round of fighting last November after the Israeli military killed a top Islamic Jihad commander. Since then, Israel and Gaza’s more powerful Hamas group have been working through Egyptian mediators to cement an informal cease-fire. But Islamic Jihad has continued to try to carry out attacks.

The sudden exchanges after months of relative calm put Israel’s tense security situation back on the agenda a week before the the country’s third election in less than a year. The campaign has thus far largely focused on domestic issues and Netanyahu’s precarious legal situation after he was indicted on corruption charges.

Despite the tough talk and a typical preference to highlight his national security credentials, Netanyahu appears to have little appetite for a major confrontation as he fights for re-election.

“Israel didn’t seek escalation in Gaza. On the contrary, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entered the crucial stage of the battle for his political life, it seems the last thing he needed was a violent eruption in the strip,” wrote Amos Harel, the military affairs commentator for the Haaretz daily. “An uncontrolled upsurge at this time could actually hurt Netanyahu’s chances more than it would help him.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. And Bibi is threatening war not to boost himself but toi insure that Israel maintains its security. These animals cannot be contained with rhetoric, and all efforts in history to negotiate peace flopped – because animals do not negotiate. They react to an image? With terror? Waste them. Make thousands more bodies.

    Israel needs to move their border inward and take back the land.

    • No. But there is a way to bring about some decrease in terror. Exterminate terrorists. While I have zero faith in Palestinian civilians, as many of them end up picking up the role of terror when they can, the focus on eliminating the terrorists must be a dedicated one. Destroying buildings doesn’t accomplish much. We need to keep the border closed, even to workers. We need to take back some of the land,which they do not develop anyway. And we need to locate the terror leaders wherever they are and make sure none of them survive. There will be collateral damage to civilians, which the terror groups invite and hold ultimate responsibility. We need to block all forms of aid, whether food, medicines, and building supplies, none of which ever reach the intended targets. We need to bomb the buildings where the terrorists live and work, without warnings to evacuate first. We need to raze stretches of the cities where they breed and instill values of terror among their young. We need to take this campaign seriously, and not bow to the liberal, stupid pressures of “disproportionate responses” that will sound off in the UN and the liberal MSM.

      Terror won’t go away by negotiating with terrorists. It will go away when it gets destroyed.

    • Its kind of what ended the Intifada in the early 2000’s. Once the Palestinians saw how decimated they became they stopped bombing us. At a certian point war does solve the issue. Didn’t America’s involvmenet in WW2 solve the Germany problem

  2. I think the Israelis have to act with much more powerful force. This stupid policy of bombing empty storehouses or some empty cornfield has got to end. Is that a deterrent? Warn the neighbors first, then they can quickly get their cellphones and film a bomb hitting a deserted area. Oh yeh, that will put the fear into the terrorists. Such immaturity. The days of Obama/Susan Rice/John (both sides both sides) Kerry/ the evil wicked backstabbing jew Dan Shapiro, are over and long gone. NOW is the time to take decisive action. President Trump and the Republican majority in the Senate will back the Israeli citizens and their right to defend themselves. I can’t understand why these Israelis are dragging their feet.
    You can’t have residents of Sderot and its neighbors living in constant fear like that. That is not a sustainable way to live. How can a child grow up as a well rounded individual constantly experiencing such fear and terror?! I’m afraid of the repercussions this lifestyle may have when they grow older and start a family of their own. May HKB”H continue to watch over and protect all of Am Yisroel wherever they may find themselves!

    • I disagree. I don’t want them to forget it or remember it. I want them exterminated. Anything that allows these animals to exist enables them to carry their obsessional hatred to actions. The only good terrorist is not one with a memory, but a dead one. We need to interrupt any aid being shipped to them, and bomb them into the stone age.

  3. Gaza – the gift that keeps on giving.

    Gaza was a litmus test and the Arabs failed badly. The only silver lining remaining from the surrender of Gaza to the Arabs is that now Israel has solid proof that any further concession of land to them will result in more violence, not peace. Nobody can argue with it.

  4. It appears that some of you want to wipe out civilians, including old men, women, and children living in Gaza, who hate the terrorists, but are powerless to do anything about them. Would you like to be in their situation?

    • First of all, I rather doubt they’re as powerless as you think they are. If all of the Egyptians could be held responsible for Pharaoh’s mistreatment of the Jewish people, because they could have revolted against him (as the bechorim did at the eleventh hour), then this is no different. Second, an awful lot of them in fact support the terrorists and their aims, whether by supplying material or moral support. Third, would you say the same about Amalek or the seven nations of Canaan? That was Shaul’s mistake, after all.

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