Netanyahu Warns of IDF Operation If Gaza Attacks Persist

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli soldiers at a staging area in southern Israel, near the border. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that if attacks from Gaza do not cease, he may have no choice but to order a major IDF operation, even before the March 2 elections.

Netanyahu told a meeting of municipal leaders in the Gaza periphery that although Israel is seeking a peaceful end to the rocket and balloon launches that have disturbed the calm in recent days, the military has readied itself to mount a strong response, according to media reports.

“The prime minister… repeated and emphasized that efforts are constantly being made to bring total calm, without use of force, and that the IDF is prepared to take military action if necessary, and that we prefer to react a solution without a confrontation,” Merhavim Local Council chairman Shay Hajaj wrote on Twitter.

Hajaj added that if the order is given for a military operation, the mayors said they will support it.

Meanwhile, the IDF has conducted successful tests of a new laser system designed to shoot down the arson balloons from Gaza, according to Kan 11 Wednesday night.

Deployment to the IDF’s Gaza division has already begun.