Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday evening warned Hamas that it would “pay a heavy price” after a four-year-old boy was killed in a mortar attack on southern Israel.
"On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I express my deep sorrow and send condolences to the family of the child. At this difficult moment I wish to strengthen the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu added.
"The IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) will intensify the operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza until the goals of Operation Protective Edge are achieved,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, condemned the incident as well.
“I've just heard the terrible news that a 4-year-old child was killed by a mortar strike in the south. I condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous terrorist attack and offer condolences to the boy's family. Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, which the United States supports,” wrote Shapiro on his Facebook page.
Friday’s incident occurred in a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev regional council. According to Channel 2 News, terrorists in Gaza fired a barrage of mortars at the kibbutz, one of which exploded in a location near where the boy was standing.
The boy sustained critical injuries, and rescue services rushed him to hospital. A short time later, he was pronounced dead.
Gaza terrorists fired more than 90 rockets at Israel on Friday, and the attacks continued throughout the evening.
At least eight rockets and mortars exploded in the Eshkol region shortly after 8:00 p.m. No one was physically injured and there was no damage, as the rockets exploded in open areas.
One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system over Be’er Sheva, and two more exploded in open regions. There were no injuries or damages.
A rocket from Gaza also exploded in an open area in the Gush Dan region of central Israel. Sirens were heard in Holon, Bat Yam, Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion before the explosion.
No physical injuries or damages were reported.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)