by: Janet Aslin
Wednesday, 12 February 2020 | Rockets and mortar fire from Gaza have been escalating since the announcement of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” on January 28. The steady spate of rocket attacks evoked a verbal warning from Prime Minister Netanyahu at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett also spoke on Sunday, implying that Israel may return to targeted killings of terrorist leaders if the violence does not end.
As the violence continued, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upped the ante and issued a second verbal warning in as many days. The Times of Israel quoted from an interview the prime minister gave to Israel Channel 20 when Netanyahu warned: “I’m telling you as prime minister I don’t rush off to war. I don’t puff out my chest, bang on drums and blow trumpets. But we’re preparing for Hamas the surprise of their lives. I won’t say what it is, but it will be different from anything that came before.”
In response, within minutes Hamas launched a single rocket which landed in open terrain in southern Israel. According to Israel’s i24 news, Hamas belligerently replied to Netanyahu’s remarks, stating “these threats are part of the [Israeli] electoral campaign and do not scare us—Israel should be careful of doing anything stupid.”
The current war of words, punctuated by Hamas’s rocket launches and incendiary balloons, brings to mind an image of two vehicles racing at each other. Which driver will “blink” first and swerve to avoid a head-on collision? Netanyahu has always been clear on the critical importance of security to Israel’s future. The Jewish state must, and will, defend itself from all threats to its security. Hamas should take a look at recent history—Israel can be pushed just so far before it will respond in self-defense. And its track record shows 100% in the “win” column.
Posted on February 12, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 12, 2020)
Photo Credit: IsraeliPM/YouTube/screenshot
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