Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel will respond to every Palestinian Islamic Jihad attack.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi [L] with Defense Minister Naftali Bennett
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Any terrorist who plans to attack Israel during the day will not survive the night, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett threatened on Wednesday, just a day after formally taking up his new role.
Bennett entered the Defense Ministry on Tuesday at 11 a.m., a few hours after Israel assassinated Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Bahaa Abu al-Ata in a targeted killing in the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the recent rocket attacks to hit Israel, November 13, 2019
“Yesterday morning, the IDF and the security forces took vital action for the security of Israel,” Bennett said, the first public remarks he has made in his new role. “He acted against the citizens of Israel and he was eliminated.”
Al-Ata’s assassination, the defense minister said, should send a “clear message to all of our enemies: Whoever plans to hurt us during the day, cannot be sure that he will make it through the night.”
He noted that the IDF commanders, headed by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, alongside other intelligence and security agencies, were doing all they could to ensure Israelis sleep peacefully at night.
On Wednesday morning, Bennett was spotted praying the morning service in the synagogue inside the Kirya Military Headquarters. Then, later in the day, he released a short video in English reiterating his message to the Anglo public: “These terrorists are not only out to kill Israelis. In fact, they’re killing their own people in Gaza.”
בדרך כלל בסבבי מלחמה אנחנו מוצפים תמונות של שר הביטחון בבור, אז קבלו פפראצי של בנט פותח את הבוקר בבית הכנסת של הקריה pic.twitter.com/vYN6j2doje
— יאיר שרקי (@yaircherki) November 13, 2019
“At the cost of every rocket they shoot, they could have built another Gazan classroom,” the defense minister continued.
Then, he called on the world to stand together “against radical Islamic terror. Otherwise, the world will feel its wrath.”
Bennett began his term as defense minister with just a week left before Blue and White leader Benny Gantz’s mandate to form a government is set to expire next on Wednesday. If a new government is formed, Bennett could find himself out of the 14th floor of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. If Israel goes to new elections, he is expected to remain in the role for at least the next five-to-six months.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett discuss the Gaza rocket attacks with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Tuesday. (MOD)
Earlier Wednesday, Environment Minister Ze’ev Elkin of Likud spoke about the Gaza violence. He claimed on Channel 12 that Israel had achieved its goal in the current round of fighting.
“Our mission this round has been achieved,” he said. “One of the top terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Bahaa Abu al-Ata – who was responsible for firing at us for a long time and blasted the attempts to calm the Gaza Strip – is no longer with us.”
He added that Israeli deterrence was restored following al-Ata’s elimination.