Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the international community’s failure to speak out against rocket fire, with Saturday’s rocket attack marking the third in 10 days.
“I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has the U.N. said a word,” Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
“It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves,” he said, alluding to accusations that inevitably follow Israeli military responses to rocket fire.
“Let it be clear: The spreading 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,” Netanyahu said.
While a Gaza-based group identifying itself as an affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Israel holds Hamas responsible.
In response to the weekend attack, Israeli pilots targeted a Hamas training camp and temporarily closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip outside of medical and humanitarian supplies, reopening the crossings Monday morning.
As a precautionary measure against further rocket fire, the IDF deployed two Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to Ashdod and Netivot.
Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni called the recent spat a “blatant violation” of the ceasefire agreement with Hamas.
“This is not errant fire or a one-off,” Shimoni told reporters over the weekend. “This is a blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement. The calm that we thought we would enjoy in our area after Operation Protective Edge ended quickly, faster than we expected.”
Meanwhile, several Hamas operatives, including a member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the group’s “military” wing, perished when a terror tunnel collapsed near the Israeli border.
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