Israel Wants Calm on Gaza Border, but 'Preparing for Military Operation,' Netanyahu Says

Border community leader walked out of meeting with the premier, saying government ignores the threats they face

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Fires caused by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza blaze in a border community, June 28, 2019.
Fires caused by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza blaze in a border community, June 28, 2019.Credit: \ Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday on a visit to the south that the army is preparing for the possibility of a large-scale military campaign in Gaza. “Our policy is clear. We want to return calm, but at the same time, we are preparing for a large-scale military operation, if necessary. These are my orders to the military,” he said.

For their part, the leaders of regional councils in the Gaza border communities walked out of a meeting with the prime minister in protest at what they said was the government’s disregard for the residents living in border communities. The communities have faced rounds of rocket fire as well as violence along the border fence and fires set by incendiary balloons launched from Gaza.

>> Netanyahu might need a war before the election | Opinion

Netanyahu met on his visit to the south with local leaders from throughout the region, including the Gaza border communities. The head of the Eshkol regional council, Gadi Yarkoni, and head of the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, Ofir Libstein, left the meeting in protest, claiming that the prime minister did not address the unique issues that their residents near the border with the Gaza Strip face.

“We were surprised to discover that the meeting with prime minister included 20 regional council heads from all over the south and that the prime minister had no intention of having a meeting focused on the concerns of the Gaza border communities, as is expected in days such as these and as we requested,” they stated, adding: “We have deep concern regarding the government’s awareness and understanding of what is happening in our communities.

Netanyahu said in response: “I am sorry that some of the council heads who always say that we don’t listen to them ironically left just when we came to listen to them – but we will do what is necessary for everyone.”

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op