Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning (Monday, 16 July 2018), in Sderot, met with local council heads from the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip* and made the following remarks at the end of the meeting:
"I have just finished an excellent meeting with the heads of councils in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. I told them that we are in a prolonged struggle.
Just as we are now completing the blocking of the tunnels and as we took action and succeeded in stopping the mass storming of the fences, I have directed the IDF to defeat and stop the terror of incendiary kites and balloons, and we are in the midst of the process.
It is important that Hamas understands that it faces an iron wall and this wall is comprised, first of all, of a determined government, of strong local leadership and Zionist settlement, and that we will continue to strengthen it and – of course – the IDF.
We are proud of them and I am proud of the marvelous local residents who are facing difficult days. But I am convinced of our common strength to rebuff, deter and, in the end, defeat this Gaza-based terror."
From Prime Minister Netanyahu's answers to questions:
"I was just in a kindergarten where I saw small adorable children. We are committed to them and this is a continuous process. I do not want to tell anybody that it is over.
The day before yesterday we took very strong action against Hamas and dealt it the strongest blow it has taken since Operation Protective Edge. It must be understood that whoever asks me these questions needs to be prepared for the continuation of the struggle.
There is an exchange of blows here. It is not over in one go and I cannot comfort those who have taken the most difficult losses. This is very hard to take, but we know that we are in a prolonged Zionist struggle.
For 100 years we have been fighting terror; we fight it forcefully. This place right now is the confrontation line between Islamic terrorism and the state of the Jews and we are determined to win. This entails an exchange of blows which are not yet over."
From Prime Minister Netanyahu's answer to a question about the kites:
"Indeed we have instructed the IDF to stop this. We do not accept, I said this yesterday as clearly as possible and it is worth their while to listen to me, especially on the other side, there is no such thing from our perspective of a ceasefire that makes an exception for incendiary kites and balloons. There is no such thing. From our point-of-view, this does not exist and therefore we are in the midst of a process. I will say this for the seventh time and it will, I hope, get through. But if it will not be understood from my words, it will be understood through the actions of the IDF."
* Attending the meeting were Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Shaar Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Alon Shuster, Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Tamir Idan, Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Gadi Yarkoni and Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Chairman Yair Ferjon.
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)