Israeli Defense Minister to Hamas: We Will Hit Even Harder Next Time

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after a meeting at The Kirya, the Israeli Defense Force headquarters, on May 15, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty

TEL AVIV – Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned Hamas on Saturday that Israel will hit harder than it has before if the terrorist entity continues to fire rockets at the Jewish state.

Hamas fired four rockets from Gaza into Israel on Friday evening. In response, Israeli airstrikes hit four Hamas targets.

Claiming that two civilians were killed in the strikes, the terror organization warned of further attacks on Israel.

“The blood of the children killed in the Zionist raid will not flow in vain,” Hamas said in a statement.

Ya’alon said in response that Israel is capable of inflicting serious damage on Hamas and blamed the terror group for initiating the violence.

“Just yesterday, we once again saw proof that [hostile] states, organizations, and groups seek to harm us just because of who we are,” Ya’alon said at an event honoring wounded members of the armored corps in Tel Aviv.

Ya’alon said that Israel would not tolerate rocket attacks and will respond with military force as it had done in the past.

We won’t tolerate attempts to disrupt life in southern Israel. That’s why we responded last night with force against Hamas assets in the Strip; and we know how to hit a lot harder if the attacks continue. Hamas runs Gaza and as far as we are concerned, it is responsible for any attacks coming out of there.

Ya’alon’s words echoed those of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In January, Netanyahu threatened that, in the event of future attacks, Israel will “act very forcefully against Hamas, and with much more force than Operation Protective Edge,” the official Israeli name for the 2014 Gaza war.

Reacting to the discovery of freshly dug tunnels under the Israel-Gaza border, Netanyahu warned Hamas not to “try us.”