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Ministers, MKs Call for Israel to Respond to Gaza Rocket Fire

Despite hour-long barrage, no reported response from IAF; Ministers call to recall envoys, carry out threats of retaliation.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/8/2014, 9:17 AM / Last Update: 8/8/2014, 9:52 AM

IDF soldiers near Gaza
IDF soldiers near Gaza
Flash 90

Nationalist MKs have called for Israel to respond with force to Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire on Friday, after the IAF declined to retaliate as of 9:00 am despite an hour-long series of barrages on Israeli civilians. 

"Israel must immediately recall its delegation [from talks in] Egypt," Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett stated, saying Hamas was "firing on civilians as a means of pressure."

"This is a moment for Israeli deterrence, a test for the coming years," he continued. "The response must be hard."

Bennett stressed that "Operation Protective Edge is not over, Hamas has not yet been decimated, the people of Israel should be strong and ready for the future."

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) also called to recall envoys. 

"Rocket fire from Hamas has renewed, despite the fact that we threatened a harsh response," Katz said. "Hamas only understands physical strength." 

"We cannot hold negotiations while under rocket fire," he continued. "Thousands of Palestinians are now fleeing from their homes; they take us seriously. Now is the time." 

Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) also released a statement shortly after the rocket fire. 

"Israel cannot allow a terrorist organization to determine the rules of the game according to what is comfortable for it," Ariel stated. "The reality must change immediately, [in a move that] will be fulfilled by security forces setting clear goals - destroying Hamas once and for all."

Finance Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) added that "the deterrent power of the IDF and the State of Israel is currently at the test." 

"If we allow Israel to take rocket fire again without a response [. . .] we will encourage them to continue firing," Slomiansky said. "Therefore the IDF must respond forcefully, and we must recall the Israeli delegation in Egypt." 

Earlier Friday, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired at least ten rockets on Israeli civilians after refusing to extend a 72-hour ceasefire agreement. According to the latest reports, Israel has yet to retaliate to the rocket fire.