Likud minister: Hamas attacks were 'minor'

Minister Tzachi Hanegbi says attacks on Israel were not particularly severe because Tel Aviv was not attacked. 'Hamas had reason to attack.'

Hezki Baruch,

Tzachi Hanegbi
Tzachi Hanegbi
Miri Tzachi/TPS

Likud Minister Tzachi Hanegbi on Thursday downplayed Hamas' rocket attacks in justifying prime minister's decision not to launch a military operation in Gaza.

"Hamas had a reason to attack," Hanegbi said in an interview with Galei Tzahal radio, referencing the gun battle between IDF forces and Hamas earlier this week during which 7 terrorists were eliminated.

"Hamas' revenge was minor. Overall, out of 470 rockets, it succeeded in killing one Palestinian."

"In the end, 500 kids would come back in coffins if they entered Gaza, so lets measure proportions.

"Overall, they responded in a measured fashion and purposely attacked the Gaza envelope because they have no interest in dragging us into a heavy military operation, and we don't have an interest either."

"What the residents of the south say is not negligible to me, but there is a difference from the economic capital of Israel and Ben-Gurion Airport with all the tremendous implications of this. When that [a broad military operation] happens, [you'll] ask me why we can't prevent Tel Aviv from being shut down," Hanegbi added.

In the last several days, Hamas has fired more than 460 rockets at Israel, of which about 100 were intercepted by the Iron Dome system. The IDF attacked 160 terrorist targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

During the rocket barrage on Israel, a 48-year-old resident of Hevron was killed when a rocket landed in Ashkelon. Rescue teams provided medical assistance to 53 people who were wounded, 2 seriously: A soldier who was wounded by shrapnel in the Shaar Hanegev area and a 60-year-old woman in the Ashkelon area.