Netanyahu says Hamas, Iran will pay heavy price for balloon terror

Netanyahu, Defense Minister Gantz both say Israel will respond if Hamas doesn’t stop terror attacks.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning Tuesday that the Iran-sponsored terror groups in Gaza would pay a heavy price if they failed to stop launching balloon-bombs at Israel.

Speaking during a tour of an Israel Air Force base, Netanyahu pointed a finger at Iran for fostering most of the terror in the region.

“Ninety-five percent of these threats originate in Iran. Iran threatens us with nuclear weapons, precision missiles and unguided missiles, with proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, and in other places,” Netanyahu said.

His comments came as numerous fires broke out in southern Israel, apparently sparked by dozens of incendiary balloons launched by Palestinians in Gaza, the enclave controlled by the Iran-backed Hamas terror group.

Hamas is apparently allowing the attacks to fuel tensions due in part to a lack of money and the cessation of tens of millions of dollars in cash payments from Qatar, which were helping to quell unrest by Gazans impoverished under the harsh Hamas military rule.

Terrorists attach firebombs and also explosive charges to the balloons, many of which have caused large brush fires when they detonate.

“I would like to make it clear to all of Iran’s proxies, including in Gaza: Balloon terrorism will have a heavy price. We will not tolerate this. We will take action and exact a heavy price. They should remember that we have done this in the past, because we will do it now as well,” Netanyahu said.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz echoed Netanyahu’s comments and warned of a firm military response as he ordered the closing of the trade crossing between Israel and Gaza.

“Hamas is permitting the continued [attacks by] incendiary balloons and explosive balloons into the State of Israel, we are not ready to accept that and we closed the Kerem Shalom crossing as a result,” Gantz tweeted.

“They would do well to stop violating security and peace in the State of Israel. If this does not happen – we will have to respond, and forcefully,” Gantz said.