Lieberman Threatens Bloody Gaza Reprisals if Israel is Attacked

Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Micah 7:8 (The Israel Bible™)

During a visit to Kibbutz Or Haner, approximately 3 kilometers from the Gaza border, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) threatened bloody reprisals if Israel were to be attacked from Gaza.

”If we have Color Red here, Gaza will turn deep ‎red, too,” Lieberman said, referring to the rocket warning system that operates across ‎the western Negev.‎

“We would prefer not to be dragged into war, and ‎we’re doing everything we can to avoid a large ‎operation, but the ball is not in our court. I ‎highly recommend Hamas be wise about it,” he said.‎

Commenting on the residents’ criticism that Israel’s response to ‎Hamas violence is not sufficiently forceful, ‎Lieberman said, “I think we are mounting a forceful ‎response. Do things need to go to the next level? ‎Probably, but at the end of the day, our ‎responsibility is to deal with all threats at all ‎times, to ensure the normal routine here – and ‎everywhere else. ‎

Channel 10 News reported that Prime Minister ‎Benjamin Netanyahu informed senior cabinet ministers ‎that a new initiative to resolve the humanitarian ‎crisis in Gaza was in the works with the aim of ‎facilitating a stable cease-fire.‎

Hadashot evening news reported that the recent ‎flare-ups on the Gaza border have prompted Lieberman ‎to propose dealing Hamas a more crippling blow, but ‎Netanyahu opposed the move.‎

Meanwhile, after a few relatively calm days, ‎Palestinian arson terrorism raged again over the ‎weekend, as 28 fires were sparked in Israeli ‎communities near the border by incendiary balloons. ‎

The terrorist arson campaign, launched in late ‎‎‎April, has so far decimated nearly 10,000 acres of ‎‎forest ‎and farmlands on the Israeli side of the ‎‎border. Incendiary kites and balloons have caused ‎‎millions of dollars in damage to the area over the ‎‎past three months and environmental experts ‎say it ‎‎will take at least 15 years to rehabilitate ‎the ‎‎vegetation and wildlife that have been destroyed.

Two Palestinians, a 34-year-old man and a 14-year-‎old ‎boy, were killed Friday and 150 were wounded in a ‎riot near the Israel-Gaza Strip border, Palestinian ‎media reported over the weekend. ‎

According to the Israeli military, some 7,000 ‎Palestinians took part in border demonstrations. ‎Troops opened fire to ward off rioters who threw ‎rocks and firebombs ‎and rolled burning ‎tires at the security fence in ‎attempts to sabotage ‎it.‎

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