Netanyahu Warns of Retaliation for Rocket Attacks

29 targets hit in Gaza Strip following terrorist attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a joint press conference

Benjamin Netanyahu / AP


JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of powerful Israeli retaliation following the firing of 60 rockets into Israel by Palestinian Islamic Jihad Wednesday.

"If there is no quiet in the south," Netanyahu said, "there will be noise in Gaza, a lot of noise. To say more than that right now is not necessary."

Israel announced at 10 p.m. local time that Israeli planes had hit 29 Islamic Jihad targets in five areas of the Gaza Strip and that two other targets had been hit by artillery fire. No other details were immediately available.

The rocketing came a day after Israeli aircraft killed three Islamic Jihad activists who had fired mortar shells at Israeli troops.

A spokesman for the military wing of the organization said that it was not seeking to terminate the de facto cease-fire but that a new stage in the confrontation with Israel had been reached.

"We will retaliate for every Palestinian who is killed," he said.

No Israeli casualties from the rocketing were reported. The Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system downed a number of rockets heading for built-up areas but several Palestinian rockets caused minor damage to property.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said yesterday that if there are further attacks from Gaza, Hamas, as the responsible authority there, will also be targeted even if it does not carry out attacks itself.

Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012 against Gaza after repeated rocket attacks from there. Although Israeli troops did not cross the border during the eight days of fighting, Israeli aircraft attacked 1,500 sites including rocket launchpads, weapons depots, and government facilities.

More than 130 Palestinians were killed while six Israelis were killed by rocket fire.

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