Israel to retaliate ‘vigorously’ to terror emanating from Gaza

Tension on the Gaza frontier continues to run-high, with an increase in exchanges of fire between Islamist militants and Israeli forces – threatening a fragile cessation-of-hostilities arrangement.

Palestinian Islamists opened fire from the outskirts of the enclave toward an IDF installation near the border’s security barrier yesterday evening. An IDF tank immediately responded by targeting a Hamas observation post in the northern district of the Gaza Strip. While no injuries were reported on either side, the Hamas post sustained extensive damage.

In another incident that occurred last night, a cluster of balloons carrying an explosive device was launched by Palestinian Islamists from the Hamas-controlled enclave toward Israeli territory. The explosive device detonated mid-air, near an Israeli residential community in the Eshkol regional council. Thankfully, no injuries or damage were reported.

Although the IDF has not yet responded to this specific incident; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to retaliate vigorously to any terror that emanates from the Hamas controlled territory. During a tour of Israel’s border region with Egypt, not far from the Gaza Strip, Netanyahu responded to a reporter’s question (“Mr. Prime Minister, a little north from here, Hamas continues to launch explosive devices attached to balloons, and asks for even more money than Israel has allowed it to receive in recent months”) on the latest escalation. Netanyahu responded by saying: “From here I am going to a briefing and security update with the Chief-of-Staff, GOC Southern Command and the commander of the IDF Gaza Division, to evaluate the situation that has been created and to provide a response. I am aware that in recent days there has been a renewal of Hamas aggression in all sorts of different ways. Hamas should understand now that any display of aggression will be met with a very vigorous response on Israel’s part. It is best they understand this now, rather than later. But they will understand it.”

The Israeli leader also took the opportunity to praise his-own decision to erect a border-barrier between Israel and Egypt’s lawless Sinai Peninsula, underscoring its high-rate of success in keeping out illegal foreign migrants and Islamist terrorists. According to Netanyahu: “I have just come from an update with field commanders here in the area on the Sinai border. This fence is a phenomenal success. It has completely stopped the entry of hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and the entry into Israel of terrorists from Sinai (Egypt).”