Two years after Operation Protective Edge saw Israel fight a war with Hamas and take on terror tunnels that snuck into Israel from Gaza, the Jewish state’s leadership made it clear they would continue to defend themselves as needed. Nonetheless, just days after the latest Gaza rocket attack on Israel, President Reuven Rivlin also made it clear they aren’t seeking another fight.
“We are not interested in an escalation. Just as the other side want to live in peace and live comfortable lives so do we,” said Rivlin in comments released by his office. “At the same time, we are ready to face any hostility toward us.” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was also firm in his view of Gaza, stating that they were not going to allow Hamas to rearm. According to Haaretz, Lieberman slammed Hamas for spending its resources on military buildup instead of the Gazan people.
2016 has generally been a quiet year in the south of Israel, which has been attacked by thousands of Gaza rockets over the last 15 years. However, the latest attack landed inside a neighborhood in the city of Sderot, according to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld’s Twitter account. That represents a step up from Gaza terrorists, as rockets often land in open territory and are more about inspiring fear with the threat of danger than seeking mass casualties.
However, Gazan terrorists have hit homes and schools over the years, which makes every rocket a serious risk. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner underscored the danger and the limited time to escape to safety in the event of a rocket attack in the town of Sderot with an apt comparison. Lerner tweeted that Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt “won the 200m with 19.78 seconds. In Sderot people have less that 15 seconds to reach cover.”
Rivlin knows that there are people in Gaza who are tired of the fighting, but he also recognizes there are terrorists in Gaza who are seeking even more. Israel will respond to such aggressiveness, said Rivlin.
“We will not tolerate any disturbance of the quiet, and in the face of any such disturbance we will respond swiftly and firmly,” said Rivlin.
“On both sides of the border there are civilians who want to live in quiet and we will be sure that the citizens of Israel will continue to live in harmony. We do not seek war. Yet, after having sat with our wonderful commanders I know that if war is forced upon us, we have an army as ready and professional as could be asked.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 23, 2016)