PM Netanyahu visits Sderot preschool
PM Netanyahu visits Sderot preschoolHaim Zach, GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday visited the southern Israeli city of Sderot, meeting local leaders and preschool children.

After his meeting with local council heads, Netanyahu said, "I have just finished a meeting with the heads of communities on the Gaza border. I told them that we are in a prolonged battle. Just like we are still finishing the destruction of terror tunnels, and just like we acted and succeeded in halting the mass riots on the Gaza border, we've instructed the IDF to reduce and end the kite and balloon terror. We're in the middle of that process."

"It's important that Hamas understand that they're up against a metal wall. That wall is made of a determined government, a strong local leadership, Zionist settlements which we will continue to support, and obviously the Israel Defense Forces. We are proud of them and I am proud of the amazing people who live in the Gaza border communities and are currently facing difficult times. I am convinced that our joint strength will allow us to end, deter, and be victorious over this Gazan terror."

However, Netanyahu refused to promise an end to the current conflict.

"I was just visiting a preschool," he said. "I saw the little children, and they were so cute. We have an obligation to them, and it is a continuous process. I don't want to tell anyone that this is over. Two days ago, we exerted enormous force against Hamas, dealing them a blow harder than any we've dealt since Operation Protective Edge [in 2014]. We need to understand that all those who are asking me this question need to be prepared for a continued battle."

"We're exchanging blows. It doesn't end with one strike, and I can't comfort those who have suffered the greatest losses. It's a very difficult thing to suffer, but we know that we are in the midst of a continued fight for Zionism. For a hundred years we've been fighting terror, and fighting it with strength. In this place right now, this is the conflict between Islamic terror and the Jewish state, and we are determined to win. It requires exchanging blows, and they're not over yet."

Regarding incendiary kites and balloons, Netanyahu said, "We told the IDF to put an end to it. We do not accept - and I said this yesterday very clearly, and I hope people, especially the other side, listened to me - a ceasefire which does not include incendiary kites and balloons."

"There's no such thing. From our perspective, it doesn't exist, and because of that, we're in the middle of a process. I will say it a seventh time, and hopefully, it will be internalized. But if my words aren't internalized, the IDF's actions will be."