From Now On Israel Will Preemptively Strike Hamas For Rocket Activity
ISRAEL - An Israeli Senior Likud minister has stated that Israel will now be preemptively striking the Hamas terrorist group when it sees that the group is building up its rocket stockpile and preparing to fire on Israel, rather than waiting to be fired upon.
Tzachi Hanegbi stated that they can no longer 'wait for rocket fire'. From now on, rearmament and preparing to fire rockets 'is cause for Israeli strikes' on targets in the Gaza Strip. Hanegbi added, "This is a total change of the equation. We’ve never done this".
Hanegbi said, "The State of Israel has tolerated, over the years — during the decade of Netanyahu’s rule and also before — the strengthening of Hamas, and this was, without a doubt, a mistake".
When asked if Israel would consider strikes that would destroy Hamas in the region entirely he replied, "an option, but a last resort".
Hanegbi also predicted that the military operation carried out by Israel this month to destroy Hamas rockets and underground tunnel networks would likely result in at least 15 years of calm, based on how quiet things have been since the 2006 war with Hezbollah terrorist group.
After the latest round of fighting with the Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the terrorist organization would be met with 'a whole new level of force', and said that Israel has been extraordinarily successful in achieving its objectives in the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu said, "We changed the equation not only as regards to the operation but also as regards the future. If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a ‘drizzle’ of rockets, it is mistaken. We will respond with a whole new level of force to every instance of aggression against the Gaza-envelope communities or anywhere else in Israel".
Regarding the success of the recent operation, Netanyahu commented, "Most of Hamas’s capabilities have been harmed — far more seriously than Hamas commanders imagined. Hamas thought it could fire on Jerusalem and the cities of Israel, and we would just react with business as usual".
The 11 days of fighting that began on May 10th saw 4,300 rockets fired into Israel from Hamas, and hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza from Israel. 243 people were killed in Gaza, 100 of those women and children. 12 people died in Israel from the fighting, two were children.
Israel says that it killed 225 Hamas militants, though the terrorist organization has not put out a statement giving casualty numbers for their fighters.
Both Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization have declared victory amidst the ceasefire brokered by Egypt, but with the heavy blows that Israel gave Hamas, it will likely take years for them to recover.