Israeli president warns Hamas: If you want war, you’ll get war

“Terrorism using incendiary kites and balloons is terrorism just like any other,” he said.

By World Israel News Staff

With tension rising in the south of the country, President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday visited sites where fires have been set in the area around Gaza.

“The time will come when they have to decide, and if they want war they will get war,” he said.

The president spoke with firefighters from the southern district, together with the district commander of the Fire and Rescue Service Lt.-Col. Shmulik Friedman, following weeks of incendiary kite and balloon attacks that have caused hundreds of fires in the area around Gaza and the south.

The president thanked the firefighters for the determination and dedication with which they do their jobs all year long, but particularly at this difficult and challenging time.

“You have to deal with threats that deliberately and consistently harm Israeli citizens going about their daily lives,” the president said to the firefighters.

“Terrorism using incendiary kites and balloons is terrorism just like any other. You are from here. You know the lay of the land. We have nothing against the people living in Gaza. On the contrary, we want them to be able to live in peace and quiet and raise their children. But they are being held by Hamas, which also thinks it has us in its control. Hamas should know that this is not a game,” he said.

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Speaking about the damage done to agriculture from the fires, Rivlin said, “There is nothing more painful than seeing this good earth go up in flames. I want to offer my support to the farmers at this difficult and painful time when they have to deal with the threat of fires as well as with the economic crisis from corona. The way the residents, the farmers, the civilian security forces and you the firefighters stand firm is an inspiration for us all.”