It would have been preferable to resolve this by diplomacy and we tried to do so when we acceded to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. But Hamas left us no choice but to broaden and intensify the campaign against it.

 Statement by PM Netanyahu

 

Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this evening (Tuesday, 15 July 2015), made the following statement at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv:

"This morning, I convened the Security Cabinet. We decided that Israel would respond positively to Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire. I said then that if Hamas and Islamic Jihad did not accept the Egyptian ceasefire and continued to fire at Israel’s cities, I – along with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon – would order the IDF to take strong action against them – and this is what we did this afternoon. The air force bombed many terrorist targets in Gaza and these attacks will continue.

Hamas chose to continue the campaign and it will pay for this decision. Whoever tries to attack the citizens of Israel, Israel will strike at him. When there is no ceasefire – our answer is fire.

This campaign has several fronts – the operational front, the diplomatic front and the home front. We are acting on all these fronts simultaneously, in a level-headed and sagacious manner, and with the benefit of experience. All of this is to create maximum freedom of action for the State of Israel and the IDF in order to protect you from rocket fire, tunnel attacks and attacks by other means.

It would have been preferable to resolve this by diplomacy and we tried to do so when we acceded to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. But Hamas left us no choice but to broaden and intensify the campaign against it. This is what we will do until we achieve our goal – the restoration of quiet for Israel’s citizens while inflicting a significant blow on the terrorist organizations.

These are moments in which decisions must be made with equanimity and patience, not in haste. I am determined to do the right thing and I know that you rely on me and on us to ignore the background noise and concentrate on the main task – guarding your security and your lives.

We will do everything so that you and the State of Israel may quickly enjoy renewed quiet."