In his first public comment on the unusually heavy IDF response to a Gaza rocket that landed in Sderot on Sunday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman appeared to confirm that a new policy is being implemented.
“It’s impossible to expect the state of Israel to allow them [Hamas] to rearm themselves, to steal money from the Gazans. They collect taxes and don’t construct buildings with them, but tunnels,” Liberman told journalists during a visit to a training base in the Galil on Tuesday.
“You know my opinions, and I don’t need to add anything new. What you need to understand is that my approach is rebuilding in exchange for demilitarization. That’s the formula. They know that if a crisis happens, Israel will solve the problem for them, the U.N. will solve (the problem), the European Union. They aren’t interested in solving the crisis, but in building strength.”
Until now, the IDF has responded to single terrorist rocket launchings with single airstrikes.
An IDF source said on Tuesday that “key Hamas strategic assets” in the northern Gaza Strip were hit in the air force raids, according to the Times of Israel. Beyond that, the military has been rather sparing in discussion of the events of Sunday night in which 50 strikes were conducted in a two-hour period.