Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Israeli citizens to stay strong on Thursday evening, as the IDF continued operating in Gaza and terrorists continued to attack Israel with rockets.
“Citizens of Israel, we are now 28 hours into Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’,” Barak said in a statement. “The IDF has dealt a severe blow to Hamas and its terror infrastructure. In the last twenty four hours, over 250 rockets have been fired at the State of Israel, landing in the south and in the greater Tel Aviv area; ‘Iron Dome’ successfully intercepted 100 rockets.
“The general rocket fire, and in particular, the rockets at the greater Tel Aviv area, reflect an escalation, and the other side will pay a heavy price for this escalation,” he said, adding, “I said at the beginning of the operation that there will be trying times, and it will not be an easy endeavor. Today we saw that price in Kiryat Malachi, and our hearts go out to all the families of the victims.
“Today, I ordered the IDF to expand the mobilization of the reserves so that we will be prepared for any new type of development, if and when required. This morning, with Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich, I saw an exemplary city that is standing up strong, resilient in the face of an onslaught of rockets; and this is genuinely heartwarming. This is also the case in other cities. From our experience there is no 'quick fix', and this test will continue, a test which we must face with resilience and composure. We are all family. And today in Tel Aviv, we are feeling something that over one million Israelis have been feeling for a long time, especially in these days.
“I am convinced that the operation will achieve its goals. I am confident that we will strengthen our deterrence, and restore the peace, even it takes some time.
“In the meantime we must conduct ourselves with composure and discipline, [paying attention] to the instructions of the Home Front Command. We must continue to live our normal lives, even during this difficult test, in order to enable the IDF to carry out its mission, so we end this operation with the upper hand,” concluded Barak.