Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon vowed on Wednesday that Israel will continue its operation in Gaza until Hamas understands that it was a mistake to fire rockets towards Israel.
"Even at this hour, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza continue to fire missiles and rockets at Israel and try to carry out terror attacks,” he told a graduation ceremony of the National Defense College in the Galilee.
"As of last Monday, IDF forces have been operating by land, by sea and especially by air, and have dealt the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip a serious blow,” added Ya’alon.
The troops, he stressed, “are extracting a very heavy price from Hamas and will continue to do so until quiet is restored to the southern part of the country and other parts of Israel. The Hamas leaders who are hiding underground and use Gaza residents, women and children as human shields should know this.”
Ya'alon said that IDF forces, in a joint effort with the Israel Security Agency (ISA), continue to severely damage Hamas and its infrastructure.
“So far, government institutions, manufacturing facilities, weapons, launching sites, rockets, senior commanders’ homes, tunnels and more have been destroyed,” he said. “Terrorists were killed. The IDF activity is systematic and aims to strike Hamas in such a way that when its leaders examine the extent of the destruction and damage brought about them, they will understand that it was a mistake to attack Israel.”
“We will continue to act decisively and firmly until peace and security are restored to Israel,” concluded Ya’alon.
Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a similar warning to Hamas.
"Those who shoot at us are not looking for a political solution, they want the destruction and disappearance of Israel," Netanyahu stated Wednesday afternoon. "We have only one answer for them: we will fight you and defeat you."
"Israel must take immediate action to defend itself, as any normal country would do against terrorists who commit war crimes," he added.