Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel serves Hamas 'severest blow' in years

May 31, 2018, 02:45 IST | IANS

The Israeli leader's remarks came as calm was achieved in the area of the fence separating the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, Xinhua reported

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday Israel kept its promise to serve militant organisations in the Gaza Strip the "severest blow" in years.

The Israeli leader's remarks came as calm was achieved in the area of the fence separating the besieged Palestinian enclave and Israel, Xinhua reported.

Some 70 mortars and rockets were fired from Gaza towards southern Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday before dawn, according to Israeli official figures. At the same time, Israeli aircraft attacked at least 55 facilities belonging to the Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, and the Islamic Jihad, a local militant group.

"Since yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces has strongly retaliated against the firing from the Gaza Strip and has hit dozens of terrorist targets in the severest blow we have landed on them in years," Netanyahu said.

He accused the Hamas and Islamic Jihad to be "inspired by Iran" and said they were accountable for the recent escalation.

"I will not detail our plans because I do not want the enemy to know what to expect. But one thing is clear: when they test us, they pay immediately. And if they continue testing us, they will pay dearly," he said.

The violence came as a response claimed by the Hamas and Jihad to the killing of at least 116 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests near the fence.

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