Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz both issued warnings to Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip after incendiary balloons launched from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave set fires in southern Israel for the sixth straight day.
The recent balloon attacks have prompted measured Israeli retaliation, but Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi met Sunday and agreed that Israel would not tolerate continued such attacks and would react more powerfully, even at the risk of war.
In its latest response, Israel shuttered the Kerem Shalom crossing on the Gaza border.
While visiting Hatzor Air Force Base on Tuesday, Netanyahu declared, “Balloon terrorism will have a heavy price. We will not tolerate this. We will take action and exact a heavy price. They should remember that we have done this in the past, because we will do it now as well.”
“We view this with utmost gravity and you will see the results of this very quickly,” he added. “It is more important that Hamas and Islamic Jihad see the harsh implications of this ordeal. It will have harsh results and a very heavy price.”
Netanyahu also blamed Iran for the balloon attacks, calling Gaza terror groups proxies of the Tehran regime.
Earlier in the day, Gantz also addressed the issue, saying, “If Hamas does not stop launching incendiary balloons, we will respond vigorously.”
“We are not ready to accept” continued balloon attacks, he added.