Netanyahu Warns Islamic Jihad Terrorists: ‘Stop Attacks or Absorb More Blows’

Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, listens to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he addresses the media at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv on November 12, 2019. - Israel's military killed a commander of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home in …

Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza must stop rocket attacks or “absorb more and more blows” as an escalation of violence raged for a second day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday.

“They have one choice: to stop these attacks or absorb more and more blows. Their choice,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting, adding Israel was not seeking a further escalation but would not hesitate to respond when threatened.

He spoke as rockets still rained down right across the country.

The prime minister reiterated his warning that “this could take time” and said Israel would respond to attacks “without mercy.”

The exchange of fire between Israel and Palestinian militants began on Tuesday as Iran-backed terror groups in the Gaza Strip began firing dozens of rockets at cities and towns throughout the country in retaliation for the assassination of Palestinian Islamic Jihad senior commander Baha Abu al-Ata.

The army says some 220 rockets have been fired into Israel since Tuesday morning, with dozens intercepted by air defences.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad has since declared it was preparing for war with Israel and the rocket attacks represent a precursor of what is to come.

According to the Al-Quds Brigades, Abu al-Ata, 42, was “one of the most prominent members of its military council and the commander of the northern part of the [Gaza Strip].”

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