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Netanyahu: ‘Expanded Campaign’ Possible Amid Enemy Rocket Onslaught

Netanyahu is ready for the possibility of an expanded campaign and harsh strikes against

“We are ready for the possibility of an expanded campaign and harsh strikes against Gaza,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday amid a series of rocket attacks from the Strip. He spoke during a meeting with local and regional council heads in southern Israel as Gaza sides were launching hundreds of rockets in response to the Israel Air Force’s targeting killing of three Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders a day earlier. 

Photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Nentanyahu is ready for the possibility of an expanded campaign and harsh strikes against Gaza. (SEAN GALLUP/GETTY IMAGES)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir praised the IDF’s actions targeting many sites in Gaza. “Congratulating the heroic security forces operating at this moment in Gaza to defeat the terrorists. The entire nation of Israel is behind you,” Ben-Gvir tweeted. 

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and also The head of the Religious Zionism Party expressed solidarity with the residents of southern Israel, tweeting on Tuesday night that they are strong and give back-up to hit their enemies hard. “At this time, I wish to strengthen the residents of Otaf Israel and the IDF, which is acting with determination. The people of Israel and the government of Israel stand by you,” Smotrich said on a tweet. 

Transportation Minister Miri Regev was rushed to a bomb shelter at the Port of Ashdod during a  tour of the South that also included Sderot, the Sdot Negev region and Ashkelon. “This is the shelter here; as you can see we don’t play with security. There is a siren, we all go down to the shelter and then we will continue the visit here in the port,” Regev said.

Earlier in the day she toured the IDF Home Front Command center in Ashkelon, posting a tweet. “We will defeat terrorism with a strong hand. With God’s help, we will succeed,” said Regev on a tweet. 

Opposition leader Yair Lapid and National Unity party chief Benny Gantz held a meeting on Wednesday at the Knesset where they discussed “the importance of backing up the operational operations of the IDF and the security forces,” Lapid said on a tweet. 

Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Idit Rosenzweig-Abu criticized an earlier tweet by Luxembourg’s Foreign Ministry as one-sided for “only calling on Israel to respect human rights” while Gaza sides are firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system fires interceptors at rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, near Sderot, southern Israel. Palestinian militants in Gaza fired rockets towards Israel, after the Israeli military carried out a series of air strikes on Islamic Jihad rocket launchers. Israel and Gaza militants traded heavy fire on May 11, the third day of the worst escalation of violence in months, which has killed 29 people in the blockaded Palestinian enclave and one in Israel. (AHMED ZAKOT/GETTYIMAGES)

Immediate reaction to Wednesday’s burst of rockets, which included the targeting of the Tel Aviv area, was also seen in the United States. “Israel is facing a massive barrage of rockets. Imagine how high the death toll would be were it not for Iron Dome, which has intercepted almost all the missiles fired and saved lives,” Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) said on a tweet. “I will continue voting for missile defense systems that protect civilians from terrorism,” Torres said. 

American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris also reacted. “Let’s be crystal-clear. Those firing rockets are terrorists, not ‘militants.’ Their aim is to kill & destroy, not seek peace & coexistence. They use civilians as shields, hospitals & schools as arms depots. I STAND WITH ISRAEL,” Harris said on a tweet.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

Edited by Rachmad Imam Tarecha and Joseph Hammond

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