Thursday, February 20, 2020 | ePaper

Rocket attacks make new war in Gaza inevitable: Israeli PM

  • Print


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement in Ramat Gan.

AP, Jerusalem :
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that continued rocket fire from Gaza is making another war against militants in the coastal strip inevitable, his latest headline-grabbing announcement just days before he seeks re-election in a nationwide vote.
Netanyahu said advanced plans were in place to strike Gaza and that he would decide the optimal timing of the offensive, given the Gaza Hamas rulers' unwillingness to stop the daily barrages.
The Israeli military has responded to the attacks with limited strikes against Hamas installations that have caused no casualties and little damage, and has refrained from risking a larger conflagration on the eve of Israelis heading to the polls.
The Israeli leader has been criticized for failing to respond harshly to the rockets, which have been frequently sending residents of southern Israel scurrying for cover. Netanyahu, who counts on the working-class, Gaza border towns as part of his electoral base, was himself whisked away by bodyguards from a campaign event on Tuesday when Palestinian militants fired rockets toward the area where he was. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and Hamas militants overtook the territory by force two years later. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and engaged in several other rounds of violence over the past decade.
"I do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don't risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause," Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio. "We will probably have no choice but to set out on a big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza."
"I won't start it one minute before we are ready, and we are preparing for a 'different war'," he added, shortly before flying to Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
It was Netanyahu's first major interview to a mainstream media outlet in a frenetic campaign in which he has been dictating the agenda with a dizzying array of maneuvers.

More News For this Category

Michael Bloomberg to sell company if he enters the White House

Michael Bloomberg to sell company if he enters the White House

Reuters, Washington :Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg will sell Bloomberg LP, the financial information company that made him a billionaire, if he is elected to the White House in November,

Sanders hopes early strength will prove he can beat Trump

Sanders hopes early strength will prove he can beat Trump

AP, Las Vegas :Terry Reece has long been skeptical that voters would back Bernie Sanders, a 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist who is just months removed from a heart attack. Then

Pakistan successfully tests nuclear-capable air launched cruise missile Ra'ad-II

Pakistan successfully tests nuclear-capable air launched cruise missile Ra'ad-II

PTI, Islamabad :Pakistan conducted a successful flight test of the air launched nuclear-capable cruise missile Ra'ad-II with a range of 600 km on Tuesday, significantly boosting the military's "deterrence capability"

Britain unveils points-based immigration plan

Britain unveils points-based immigration plan

Reuters, London  :Britain will prioritise access for high-skilled workers from around the world in its post-Brexit, points-based immigration system, the government said on Tuesday, setting out its plans to put

Iran dissidents urge vote boycott as leaders eye high turnout

AFP, Tehran  :Opponents of Iran's theocratic leadership are urging an outright boycott of its parliamentary elections, arguing that it is anything but democratic and that casting a ballot serves only

News In Brief

US imposes sanctions on Russian oil giant Rosneft to press VenezuelaAFP, WashingtonThe United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions against a subsidiary of Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft over its key

Iran sentences alleged US spies to 10 years in prison

Iran sentences alleged US spies to 10 years in prison

AP, Tehran :Iran sentenced eight environmental activists, including an Iranian who reportedly also has British and American citizenship, to prison sentences ranging from four to 10 years on charges of

Maduro says 'not afraid of military combat' in Venezuela

Maduro says 'not afraid of military combat' in Venezuela

AFP, Caracas :President Nicolas Maduro on Monday said he is "not afraid of military combat," accusing his US counterpart Donald Trump of plotting to invade Venezuela with the support of

Bushfire crises hit 18m Australians

Bushfire crises hit 18m Australians

Three in four Australians - almost 18 million people - were affected by the crises deadly bushfire crises, according to a survey released Tuesday that also pointed to plummeting support

UK Govt adviser quits over race comments

UK Govt adviser quits over race comments

An adviser in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office resigned on Monday after online comments resurfaced where he linked intellect to race and seemed to advocate a eugenics policy.Andrew Sabisky