JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will continue to attack the groups that fire rockets on her citizens, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu’s statement Monday morning during a meeting with Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair came after Israeli airstrikes targeted what the Israel Defense Forces described as "launching squads" in two locations in the northern Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian men were killed in the strikes. Hamas’ military wing claimed one as a fighter and Islamic Jihad claimed the other as a fighter in its militia, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency. At least two others were reported injured.
The IDF said the attacks were in response to mortar shell fire at a routine IDF patrol on the border with northern Gaza, near the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Am.
"We’ve got Hamas, supported by Iran, firing rockets at us. They’ve fired again. We’re not going to let anyone arm themselves and fire rockets on us and think that they can do this with impunity," Netanyahu said. "They’re not going to get away with it. We attacked them before, we attacked them after and we’re going to prevent them from arming themselves. This is our policy."
Also Monday, five Kassam rockets were fired at the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, with no injuries or damage reported, according to Ynet.
Since the beginning of this year, more than 500 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel, including over 50 during October alone, according to the IDF.