‘IDF Will Hit Anyone Planning to Attack Israel’
Israel will hit any group planning to attack Israelis citizens, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday, as a barrage of rockets from Gaza fell on Israel.
Barak offered reassurances to the heads of local authorities in the Southern region, telling them, “The IDF will hit anyone planning to attack Israeli citizens.”
“We will continue improving the capabilities of Iron Dome, which intercepted a very high percentage of the grad missiles fired at Israel since last night,” he added.
Senior IDF officials that met regarding the ongoing escalation in southern Israel said on Saturday that the IDF will respond forcefully to any rocket attack against Israeli civilians.
The officials also noted the successes of the Iron Dome system, which has intercepted 25 rockets since the beginning of the escalation on Friday evening.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz called the meeting Saturday morning. A number of senior IDF officials were in attendance, including Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen Tal Russo, and representatives from the Israel Air Force, the Spokesperson’s Office, and the Home Front Command.
Palestinians have fired 100 rockets into Israel after an IAF strike on Friday killed the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.
Political officials also commented on the attacks. Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said that Hamas is trying to avoid an escalation in the Gaza Strip. “Hamas is doing all in its power to avoid a Cast Lead 2, and is trying to rein in its extremist elements.”
Speaking in Beersheba, Vilnai added that the situation in the south will become more clear in the near future. “We will know in which direction this escalation is headed by the evening,” he said. “At this point it is up to the other side.”