Bibi slams Hamas for Eilat attack, vows to strike back


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas is responsible for the rockets fired at Israel and Jordan, and Israel is planning to retaliate, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

In a speech broadcast Wednesday on Israeli television, Netanyahu referred to three attacks in recent days on Israel: from Gaza on Ashkelon, from Sinai on Eilat, and from the Lebanese army on Israeli troops.

"I want to make very clear to Hamas and to the Lebanese government that we view them as responsible for the violent provocation against us," he said.

"Don’t test our determination to protect our citizens. Israel will retaliate for every assault."

Netanyahu condemned Hamas for using Egyptian soil to launch Monday’s rocket attack on Israel, which struck Eilat and Akaba in Jordan. One person was killed in the Akaba attack.

"I want to clarify that the use of a third country’s soil, one that seeks peace, in order to launch rockets at Israel, will not help Hamas escape culpability," the Israeli leader said. "Israel views the attacks against its citizens with extreme severity, as well as the attempt to destabilize Israel’s relations with Egypt and Jordan."

"Whoever shoots at Israeli citizens, and it doesn’t matter from where, we will find them and hit them hard."

Earlier in the day, an Egyptian official was quoted by an official state news agency as saying that Monday’s attack was launched from the Sinai Peninsula by Hamas. Egypt had been denying that the rockets were launched from its soil.

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