Netanyahu pledges ‘lethal’ response to Gaza violence after blocking aid

Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers he would respond with force to any further hostilities on the Gaza border. Above, The Israeli PM at the Israel Aerospace Industries facility in Be'er Ya'akov. (AP Photo)
Updated 23 January 2019
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Netanyahu pledges ‘lethal’ response to Gaza violence after blocking aid

  • Weeks of relative calm in the Gaza Strip ended Tuesday when Israeli soldiers came under fire along the border with the enclave in two separate incidents
  • Israeli tanks in response struck two Hamas positions in Gaza, while overnight Israeli warplanes struck what the army said was a Hamas military camp in northern Gaza

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian group Hamas on Wednesday of a “lethal” reaction to any renewed Palestinian violence on the Gaza border, after blocking aid to the strip in response to the wounding of an Israeli soldier.
Weeks of relative calm in the Gaza Strip ended Tuesday when Israeli soldiers came under fire along the border with the enclave in two separate incidents.
An officer was lightly wounded when a bullet hit his helmet.
Israeli tanks in response struck two Hamas positions in Gaza, killing a Hamas fighter, while overnight Israeli warplanes struck what the army said was a Hamas military camp in northern Gaza.
Netanyahu blocked $15 million of Qatari aid that was expected to be transferred to Gaza, and told Israeli soldiers he would respond with force to any further hostilities.
“Maybe there is someone in Gaza who thinks he can stick his head up; I suggest that they understand that the response will be lethal and very painful,” Netanyahu said.
“We are ready for any scenario and escalation,” he said at a military exercise in southern Israel, quoted by his office.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008 and fears of a fourth round remain, although violence has abated since November under an informal truce.
Gaza had seen weekly Hamas-backed demonstrations along the border since March 2018, with demonstrators calling for Palestinian refugees in Gaza to be able to return to their former lands now inside Israel.
Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover to carry out violence.
At least 244 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March, mostly during border clashes but also by tank fire and air strikes.
Two Israeli soldiers have been killed.


Egyptian security forces kill 16 suspected militants

Updated 9 min 4 sec ago
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Egyptian security forces kill 16 suspected militants

  • Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two separate raids in the city of Arish in North Sinai
  • The two sides were involved in exchanges of fire

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two separate raids in the city of Arish in North Sinai, state media said on Tuesday.
The report came the day after an explosion in central Cairo killed three policemen.
Ten suspected militants were killed in the Obeidat district of Arish and another six were killed in the Abu Eita district of the city, state-run Al Ahram said.
An undisclosed quantity of weapons, ammunition and explosives were found with the six in Abu Eita.
The two sides exchanged gunfire, it said without elaborating. It made no mention of any security forces casualties.
The suspected militants’ bodies were taken to several hospitals in the city of Ismailia to be examined and identified, security and medical sources said.
Egypt has been fighting an extremist insurgency since 2013, mostly concentrated in North Sinai.