Defense Minister Gantz: 'If quiet isn't preserved, Gaza will be severely hurt'

PM Netanyahu calls emergency meeting to discuss rocket attacks, instructs Israel be 'ready for any developments.' DM Gantz: 'IDF prepared for escalation.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

PM Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday afternoon held a meeting to discuss the current security situation.

On Friday evening, Gaza terrorists fired 36 rockets at Israeli civilians. Six of them were aimed at populated areas and were intercepted.

Attending the meeting were Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White), Public Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud), IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shabak chief Nadav Argaman, National Security Council chief Meir Ben Shabbat, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, and other officials.

"I have instructed that we be ready for any developments," Netanyahu said at the end of the meeting.

A diplomatic source warned that "Israel will respond harshly to rocket fire from Gaza."

In addition to attending the meeting, Gatnz held a round of situational assessments with defense officials, as well as a conference call with heads of regional councils in the Gaza border area. He briefed them on efforts to preserve the current quiet and promised to continue with close communication and regular updates to residents, while addressing any issues that may arise.

"I've just concluded a round of situation assessments and conversations with heads of regional councils in the Gaza envelope in light of the current security circumstances," Gantz said in a statement. "Let me emphasize that the State of Israel promotes an inclusive civil culture, and protects freedom of worship for all faiths and religions, including for residents of East Jerusalem and Palestinians at large."

"At the moment there is quiet in the south, but if this quiet is not preserved, Gaza will be severely hurt: from a civil, economic, and security perspective.

He added that "the ones responsible are Hamas leaders."

"The equation is known to them and it is very clear. The IDF is prepared for the possibility of escalation, and we will do what is necessary in order to preserve the quiet."

The US State Department's Near Eastern Affairs section released a statement saying: "We condemn the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. There is no justification for such attacks."