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Israel will unleash “a whole new level of force” if Hamas terrorists break their cease-fire agreement with new rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Friday.
Netanyahu said the recent round of fighting “changed the equation not only as regards to the operation but also as regards the future,” according to the Times of Israel.
“If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is mistaken,” he said at a news conference with military leaders in Tel Aviv.
“We will respond with a whole new level of force to every instance of aggression against the Gaza-envelope communities or anywhere else in Israel.”
Netanyahu also claimed that Israel did “daring and innovative things” during its 11-day military campaign, dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“The public doesn’t know everything, Hamas doesn’t know everything, but all our achievements will be revealed over time,” he said.
The head of the Israeli Security Agency, known as “Shin Bet,” added that the recent round of fighting could be “reality-changing.”
“Hamas before this operation is not like Hamas the day after,” Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman added.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also blamed Hamas for Israel’s devastating airstrikes on Gaza, which killed at least 232 people, wounded more than 1,900 and reduced thousands of homes and critical infrastructure to rubble.
Gantz said Hamas “took the residents of Gaza hostage with poverty and a lack of hope.”
They deserve infrastructure for water and electricity and hospitals that are not storehouses for rockets…[They] deserve quiet and should have gainful employment instead of rocket factories,” he added.
The officials’ remarks came after leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror group claimed the cease-fire deal struck early Friday was a “victory” over Israel.
A spokesman for Hamas’ military wing also said it had “prepared a major blow” against Israel that would be inflicted if the Jewish state violated the truce.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police when a series of riots erupted across East Jerusalem, including at the sacred Temple Mount, the Jerusalem Post said.
More than a dozen people were reportedly arrested, including four accused of possessing assault weapons.
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