Netanyahu slams world’s silence following renewed rocket fire on Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the international community’s failure to speak out against renewed rocket attacks from Gaza on Israel.

Rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel on Saturday evening — the third attack in two weeks. In response the Israel Defense Forces struck what it called in a statement “terror infrastructure” in the northern Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu said Sunday at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting, less than a day after the attack from Gaza, that Israel holds Hamas responsible for all the firing from the coastal strip at Israel.

“I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has the U.N. said a word,” he said. “It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves.

“Let it be clear: The spreading of hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens. Thus we have acted; thus we will act.”

In the latest attack, at least one rocket landed in an unpopulated area of Ashkelon. No damage or injuries were reported. Local residents reported hearing the explosion.

The IDF also closed the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings between Israel and Gaza, with an exception for medical emergencies and humanitarian aid. The crossings were closed on Saturday night following an Israeli government directive, according to the IDF, and will require a government directive to reopen.

On Friday, the IDF reportedly deployed at least two Iron Dome Iron Dome anti-missile defense system batteries in southern Israel in response to a rocket attack from Gaza on June 3. A radical Islamist Salafist group called the Omar Brigades took responsibility for that attack, saying it was in retaliation for Hamas’ killing of an Islamic State supporter in Gaza the previous day.

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