‘We, not the terrorists, will choose the time and place,’ Netanyahu says; ‘campaign is not yet over’

“Up to now, we have inflicted upon Islamic Jihad in Gaza the hardest blow in its history,” the prime minister said. “We will win.”

By World Israel News Staff

“We are still in the midst of a campaign. At this very moment, our forces are fiercely attacking the Gaza Strip and exacting a heavy price from the terrorist organizations,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement to Israeli citizens Wednesday evening.

He was referring to Operation Shield and Arrow, launched by the IDF early Tuesday morning, before dawn, that eliminated three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, among other terrorists – in response to the over-100 rockets fired at Israel last week following the death of prominent hunger-striking PIJ prisoner Khader Adnan.

Throughout the afternoon on Wednesday, PIJ fired hundreds of missiles at southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv. There were no casualties, but a home in Sderot and a kindergarten in the Eshkol region were hit. Also, several people were reportedly treated for anxiety.

The Iron Dome Defense System intercepted most of the rockets. In Tel Aviv, the new David’s Sling system repelled an attack.

“Egypt approached us with a request for a ceasefire – the issue will be examined,” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in an interview with Kan News.

Meanwhile, Gaza terrorists continued firing massive barrages of rockets throughout the evening, aiming at densely populated areas and causing extensive damage to homes and vehicles in the south. The hardest hit were Sderot and Asheklon.

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“I would like to reiterate: Whoever harms us, whoever sends terrorists against us, will pay the price,” Netanyahu declared.

“This principle, that whoever attacks us and tries to attack us will pay the price, was significantly strengthened today in Operation Shield and Arrow,” he continued. “The development of new technological capabilities, and the parallel development of new operational capabilities, in combination with our initiative, is creating a new equation.

“We say to the terrorists and whoever dispatches terrorists: We see you everywhere. You cannot hide. We will choose the time and place to attack you. We will choose, not you; not just in response, but in times of calm – the choice is ours.

“Up to now, we have inflicted upon Islamic Jihad in Gaza the hardest blow in its history. Within mere seconds, two seconds, in the middle of the night, at three separate locations, we simultaneously eliminated the terrorist organization’s leaders. We hit its anti-tank units, its arsenals and its rocket production facilities.

“In response to our actions, Islamic Jihad has launched rockets at Israel. A quarter of the rockets, maybe close to a third, fell on their territory. The decisive majority of the rockets were intercepted by our defensive systems.

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“I would also like to commend here the Defense Ministry and the security establishment for also developing the new systems that were successfully brought into action today.

“Fortunately, as of now, no Israeli citizen has been wounded. I ask that all Israeli citizens continue following the directives of IDF Home Front Command. You are doing this so well, and it really does save lives.

“Over the last few months, we have taken action against over 20 terrorists, Netanyahu said.

“I would like to thank the IDF, the ISA and the security establishment for working together around the clock on both defense and offense. I would like to thank the citizens of Israel for the full backing and confidence that they are giving our action. I would like to thank the residents of the south, whose local council heads I spoke with today.

“The campaign is not yet over. We will continue to update you. We entered this together. We will get through this together and we will win together,” he concluded.