Netanyahu warns Hamas: Attacks will be met with ‘greater force’ than the last war

Netanyahu warned Hamas that an attack on Israel would result in a fierce military response – stronger than that of Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – with dire consequences for Gaza.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff
Hamas Faza

Hamas terrorists in Gaza. (Emad Nassar/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas on Sunday that Israel will retaliate with “greater force” than deployed during Operation Protective Edge if Hamas uses its cross-border terror tunnels to attack Israel.

Hamas has built a sophisticated network of tunnels that it has used to penetrate Israel to carry out terrorist attacks on civilians and soldiers. Israel destroyed most of the tunnels during the summer of 2014, but Hamas has since worked vigorously to rebuild the network, many times at the expense of Gazans, from whom they steal building materials which they use for military build-up.

“We are operating systematically and calmly against all threats, including those from Hamas, both with defensive and offensive means, and of course in the event we are attacked by tunnels in Gaza we will operate with great force against Hamas, with much greater force than what we used in Operation Protective Edge,” Netanyahu said in a speech to diplomats Sunday night.

“I think that is understood in the region, it’s understood in the world. I hope we won’t need to do it, but our abilities both defensive and offensive are developing rapidly, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to try us,” he said.

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Netanyahu was responding to a boast by senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday that Hamas terrorists dig tunnels and test rockets to attack Israel “every day.” Haniyeh said the tunnels are a “preparation” for war against Israel” and boasted Hamas has built twice as many tunnels as existed in Vietnam.