Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threatened Gaza terrorists with “a heavy price” on Tuesday. The comments were made during a meeting between Netanyahu and mayors from southern Israeli communities in Be’er Sheva.
“Anyone who thinks he can disrupt the daily lives of the residents of the south and not pay a heavy price – is wrong,” Netanyahu said.
“My responsibility as Prime Minister is to choose the right time to charge the highest price, and that is how it will be,” he added.
Tuesday was considered a “quiet day” in the south, because only two rockets and missiles were fired throughout the day. One attack was a Grad missile fired early Tuesday morning at the city of Ashdod.
The missile missed exploding in populated or industrial areas and caused no physical injuries or damage. Another rocket exploded on Tuesday afternoon in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. There were no physical injuries or damages.
The Ashdod attack ended a “ceasefire” declared on Monday night and which lasted a grand total of six hours, from midnight to 6 a.m.
Before his visit to Be’er Sheva, Netanyahu met with his nine senior ministers and they discussed the Israeli response to the shooting from Gaza. The ministers decided that if the quiet is maintained, the IDF would not conduct air strikes in Gaza. However, if terrorists continue to shoot missiles, the Israeli response will be much more powerful than it has been thus far.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, one of the members of the forum of nine ministers, told Army Radio on Tuesday that “Gaza has a military terrorist array, which has accumulated a stockpile of missiles similar to the stockpile Hizbullah had before the Second Lebanon War. We never agreed to this, it is contrary to all agreements we signed with the Palestinian Authority.”
Steinitz added, “Sooner or later, even if there is calm in Gaza, we’ll have to resolve this – and this is only possible through an operation like the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, during which despite all the difficulties and the international pressure, we gained control of Shechem, Jenin and Ramallah, uprooted the terrorist bases and left.”
Barak Takes Part in Patriot Missile Launching Exercise
Defense Minister Ehud Barak was on hand Monday morning during a live test firing of a Patriot missile from central Israel.
The test firing was conducted as part of Austere Challenge 12, the IDF’s joint exercise with the U.S. Army.
Barak said that the test firing is an expression of the cooperation between Israel and the U.S. and also said it is “proof that the old systems still operate properly and provide results.”
“All in all,” said Barak, “these are very important days, both to the advancement of our cooperation with the U.S. as well as to the ongoing activities against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, which may intensify and expand.”
The Patriot test firing took place as Gaza-based terrorists repeatedly fired rockets at southern Israel, and Barak also mentioned and praised the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has been very successful at shooting down terrorist rockets before they hit populated areas.