Israel blames Syria, Iran for rocket barrage on south

Iran and Syria are behind this weekend’s rocket attacks on Israel’s south, IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said on Saturday morning.


IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis held a conference call for military reporters Saturday morning after at least 34 rockets were fired at Sderot and communities along the Gaza Belt since Friday night.

“The actions last night were [carried out] by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad with clear direction from Iran and the Quds Force in Syria,” said Manelis, adding that a clear message was conveyed to all relevant parties, “that no one [responsible] will be immune, not within Gaza, and not without.”

As Manelis spoke, a barrage of eight rockets was fired toward Sderot.

In addition to laying the blame with Iran and Syria, Manelis stated that the question of who shot the rockets “is Hamas’ business,” and that Israel holds Hamas responsible for everything that takes place within Gaza, including the rocket attacks.

“The fact that over the last week, there was a process of alleviating the humanitarian crisis [in Gaza], obligated Hamas to assume its responsibility, both on the border [a reference to weekly violent riots] and with the factions, and that did not happen,” said Manelis.

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“Hamas creates an atmosphere that allows terror, and that is why we hold them responsible,” he continued, adding that the IDF is “prepared to expand [its] attacks as much as it deems necessary.”

At around 10 a.m., IDF fighter launched a new wave of attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, following earlier strikes in which over 80 terror targets were destroyed.