Speaking Wednesday, Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said that unless Hamas reined in the terrorists in Gaza and kept them from attacking Israel, Israel would do it for them – and sweep away the Hamas rulers of Gaza in the process.
Speaking on Kol Yisrael radio, Steinitz said that Israel did not destroy Hamas during last year's Operation Protective Edge, instead choosing to deliver a heavy blow that would hopefully put Hamas “on notice” of what could happen if Israel really put its mind to dealing with the terror group. “It's possible they need a reminder,” he said.
Meanwhile, Meretz head Zehava Galon said that all that Protective Edge proved was that negotiations were the only way to bring peace. “At the end of the operation, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he had brought Hamas to its knees, but we see that it continues to operate. Might is not what will bring quiet in the Strip. Israel must help rebuild Gaza and commit to a peace plan based on the Saudi plan,” which would essentially have Israel withdraw from all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem.
MK Omer Bar-Lev (Zionist Union/Labor) called on the government to act against Hamas, placing the responsibility for rocket fire against Israel on the group.
The lack of will shown by the government in failing to respond appropriately to the attack Tuesday, along with a lack of negotiations, ensures that Israel will fight Hamas again. If such a fight takes place, said Bar-Lev, “Israel must show Hamas what its 'price tag' is.”
Air raid sirens sounded in towns across southern Israel Tuesday evening at 9:02 p.m, as the IDF confirmed that at least one Grad rocket fired from Gaza struck near the community of Gan Yavneh, near Ashdod. Some residents of the south reported seeing Iron Dome missile defense batteries deploying to intercept at least one incoming rocket. Sirens were heard in Ashdod, Ashkelon and in numerous towns and villages in the Lachish and Hof Ashkelon regions close to Gaza. No injuries were reported.