Israel is ready for ‘every scenario’ in Gaza, says Netanyahu after rocket attack

Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi postponed a trip to the United States that was scheduled for Sunday amid Arab riots in Jerusalem and rocket attacks from Gaza.

By World Israel News Staff and AP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with top security officials about Gaza and Jerusalem on Saturday after Palestinian terrorists fired 36 rockets at Israel early Saturday morning.

He instructed officials to be ready for “every scenario” in Gaza.

In Jerusalem, he said Israel would guarantee “freedom of worship” for everyone, and he appealed for calm.

“We ask now for people to obey the law and I call for a calming of tempers on all sides,” he added referring to violent nightly riots launched by Arabs during the Muslim month of Ramadan

The U.N. envoy to the region, Tor Wennesland, condemned the violence and said the United Nations was working with all sides to restore calm.

“The provocative acts across Jerusalem must cease. The indiscriminate launching of rockets towards Israeli population centers violates international law and must stop immediately,” he said. “I reiterate my call upon all sides to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan and this politically charged time for all.”

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Meanwhile, Israeli chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, is weighing “a series of steps for possible responses,” and preparations if the situation continued to escalate, the military said in a statement.

He also postponed a trip to the United States that was scheduled for Sunday.

The U.S. also appealed for calm, while neighboring Jordan, which serves as the custodian for the Jewish people’s holiest site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, condemned Israel’s actions.

Jerusalem, home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2014, similar tensions erupted into a 50-day war between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group.

In response, the army said fighter jets and helicopters struck a number of Hamas targets in Gaza, including an underground facility and rocket launchers.

Hamas did not claim responsibility for the rocket fire, but because the terror groups holds itself out as the ruling faction in Gaza, Israel holds it responsible for all fire emanating from the territory.