Before the terror attack, Palestinian militants targeted southern Israel late Tuesday and early Wednesday with the rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Israel responded with airstrikes targeting a Hamas training camp in Gaza, killing three and wounding five.
“Since we established the government, we have had a clear stance on our security measures and have stated that we would take severe action against terror should it become necessary,” said Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We have had two years of quiet and peace, I think all of Israel’s citizens, especially those in the North and the South have learned to appreciate the blessing and quietness of this time. The ability to walk in the streets without fear, to enjoy the fruits of feeling safe. Now there are forces trying to disrupt this quiet. They are testing and examining our level of determination and our level of strength and staying-power.
“They will find that the government, the IDF and the people of Israel have an iron strong desire to protect Israel and her people. We will react strongly, with responsibility and intelligence, and determination against those trying to break this quiet. We will protect the safety that Israel has enjoyed for the past two years.”
Israel stands ready for war. But Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby has “asked Israel to exercise self restraint and warned it against rushing into a military operation in Gaza.” According to a Reuters report, Elaraby also warned others from “giving Israel any excuse to use violence.”
Initially, some Israel watchers were uncertain how the White House would respond. On Wednesday, Obama condemned the bombing in Jerusalem, as well as the rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in recent days.
“Together with the American people, I offer my deepest condolences for those injured or killed. There is never any possible justification for terrorism,” Obama said. “The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once and we underscore that Israel, like all nations, has a right to self-defense. We also express our deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday. We stress the importance of calm and urge all parties to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties.”