By Gill Hoffman, JPost—
Israel will retaliate for incendiary kite attacks from the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman vowed at Monday’s Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset.
Liberman revealed that there have been 600 kite attacks, of which 400 were intercepted with technology. The remaining kites caused 198 fires, burning some 2,500 acres.
“It must be clear, we are unwilling to accept kite attacks, riots on the fence, or attempts to rush the fence and harm land that is under Israeli sovereignty,” Liberman said.“We will act according to Israel’s interests at timing that is comfortable for us. We will not leave accounts open. We will settle accounts with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the rests of the terrorists operating against us from the Gaza Strip.”
Liberman revealed that he had briefed mayors of communities in the Gaza periphery. He praised their strength and restraint and said they understood the decision-making of the defense establishment.
In a Kulanu faction meeting, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said the damage from the kite attacks was NIS 5 million. He said farmers would immediately be compensated for half their losses.
The opposition blasted the government’s handling of Gaza.
“I heard the prime minister and his ministers declaring victory in the previous round of fighting,” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said. “I want to ask them a question: If over 170 rockets and mortars landed in Jerusalem, would you also declare victory? If the forests around Jerusalem or parks in the city went up in flames, would you also declare how pleased you are with the result? The government has no strategy when it comes to Gaza. At the moment Netanyahu has no policy when it comes to Gaza except to wait for the next round and the next arson attack. The residents who live around Gaza deserve better.”
At the Zionist Union faction meeting, party leader Avi Gabbay announced that the faction would tour the Gaza fence area on Thursday.
Regarding the North, Liberman said Israel’s policy is that neither Iran nor Hezbollah should be in Syria.Israel will retaliate for incendiary kite attacks from the Gaza Strip, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman vowed at Monday’s Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset.