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Israeli leaders warn of strong military response against Hamas: 'Iron fist must be used'

Former U.S. advisor says Israel has a right to defend itself

Illustrative - IDF tanks stationed near the Israeli-Gaza border on March 26, 2019. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Israeli army has said that it will respond accordingly to incessant rocket fire from Gaza on Monday evening.

“In the next few days, Hamas will feel the long arm of the [Israeli] army. It won’t take a few minutes, it will take a few days,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said.

Naftali Bennett, head of the Yamina party and possibly next prime minister: “With Palestinian terrorism, an iron fist must be used. Anyone who puts Israeli residents in shelters should know that he will regret it. We will take determined action.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, who was just given the mandate to form a government, said, “No country can allow its citizens to live under the threat of terrorism. Israel must act resolutely and strongly and restore deterrence. We will collect the actions of the government in the war against the enemies of Israel.”

Gideon Sa’ar, head of the New Hope party, said: “Hamas' aggression requires a sharp response to restore deterrence and we will collect government decisions that will lead to this.”

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and UN Gilad Erdan said: “Israel did everything to calm the situation, in coordination with the international community, but Palestinians continue their terror. Israel will defend its citizens and expects the world to hold Palestinians accountable for this violence.”

Israeli Cabinet Minister Ofir Akunis, in remarks delivered on Knesset floor, read from scripture.

“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all day and all night.

“Today is Yom Yerushalayim, the day we mark the reunification of Jerusalem, in the shadow of savage attacks by Palestinian enemies, both the rocket-fire from Gaza and the riots on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“The lies, incitement and 'excuse' for terror, as if the purpose of the Jews returning to their ancient homeland is to harm the mosque on the Temple Mount, have been going on for 100 years. This lie has always been a blood libel for terrorism, bloodshed and violence against our people just because we are Jews.

“I use this day to salute the citizens of Israel, and particularly, our armed forces, who are on guard day and night against these acts of terror. We support and are proud of our soldiers and first responders, today and year-round.”

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem sent out an emergency alert: “Due to recent violent confrontations, upcoming celebrations, and commemorations, the Old City is off-limits to embassy personnel through 8 a.m. on May 16. Embassy personnel in East Jerusalem and City Center advised to remain indoors from 7 p.m.-8 a.m.”

Former White House peace negotiator Jason Greenblatt also weighed in.

“When the United States fails to stand unequivocally with Israel - as it should - and fails to recognize Israel’s right/duty to defend itself, Hamas terrorists/others are emboldened,” he said on Twitter. “Tonight we see effects of not fully standing w/ Israel. Israel should do what it needs to do to protect itself!”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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