Statement by PM Ehud Olmert (17 Jan 2009): "Hamas's methods are incomprehensible. It placed its military system in crowded residential neighborhoods, operated among a civilian population which served as a human shield and operated under the aegis of mosques, schools and hospitals, while making the Palestinian population a hostage to its terrorist activities, with the understanding that Israel - as a country with supreme values - would not act. The external Hamas leadership, which lives in comfort and quiet, continued to set extremist policies while ignoring the population’s ongoing suffering and out of a conspicuous unwillingness to ease its situation.
Hamas in Gaza was built by Iran as a foundation for power, and is backed through funding, through training and through the provision of advanced weapons. Iran, which strives for regional hegemony, tried to replicate the methods used by Hizbullah in Lebanon in the Gaza Strip as well. Iran and Hamas mistook the restraint Israel exercised as weakness. They were mistaken. They were surprised...
Hamas is not part of the arrangements we came to. These are agreements involving many countries, and a terrorist organization like Hamas is not and need not be a part of them."
FM Livni after signing of MOU between Israel and the US (16 Jan 2009): "Israel is fighting today against the Hamas terrorist organization that has taken Gaza hostage and continues to target the citizens of Israel. We are fighting Hamas that continues to hold Gilad Shalit and even denies him ICRC access."
FM Livni at press conference with UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-Moon (15 Jan 2009): "[We must] continue the de-legitimization of Hamas, which the international community decided upon three years ago and kept successfully until now. Hamas cannot be legitimized unless it accepts the international requirements, including accepting Israel’s right to exist, full renunciation of violence and terrorism, and of course, the acceptance of former agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
Hamas is not a member of the United Nations; Hamas is not thinking about accepting the international community’s rules. Hamas does not share the same values that we all share, as members of the free world and the international community...
Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip is an obstacle not only for Israel but also for the Palestinians to create a state of their own. They are also responsible for the situation in the Gaza Strip, for the loss of Palestinian lives, and for the humanitarian situation in Gaza."
FM Livni at joint press conference with German FM Steinmeier (11 Jan 2009): "In the long term, Hamas’s rule in the Gaza Strip is certainly Israel’s problem, but it’s first of all a Palestinian problem. Hamas’ rule stands in the way of their ever establishing a state, because Israel and the world will never accept or agree to have a terrorist state controlled by Hamas.
Today the residents of Gaza are finding out what a heavy price they pay for Hamas taking over Gaza. The entire region now understands how problematic Hamas is...
I am not going to get my picture taken with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh at the White House, or embracing at the UN. It’s not going to happen."
FM Livni in briefing to the diplomatic corps (8 Jan 2009): "We are acting against Hamas. We are acting against a terrorist organization. We are acting against a terrorist organization that is not willing to accept the international requirements: to accept the right of Israel to exist, to renounce violence and terrorism, and to accept former agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
Hamas does not represent any legitimate interest of the Palestinians. In a way, it took the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip hostage. And this is the reason why, while acting against Hamas, against terror, we are trying to take all the necessary steps in order to help in terms of humanitarian aid...
The Hamas are hiding among civilians. They target Israel from schools, and other locations, and while fighting back these casualties can happen, even though we try to avoid it...
The international community must work together against terror, to have agreements among us in order to defeat terrorism and not to expect Israel to find a way to reach a treaty with the Hamas. This is not going to happen.
Before that, Hamas needs to accept the requirements of the international community. I would like to ask you and your states not to put Israel and Hamas in the same wording. Hamas is a terrorist organization which is looking for civilians to kill, and Israel is a state which has to act in order to defend itself. They should not appear in the same wording.
The re-armament of the Hamas is something that nobody can afford, and this is why their smuggling of weapons needs to be addressed. It needs to be addressed before it comes to the Gaza Strip. It needs to be addressed, not only by Egypt, but I think that the international community can contribute to this."
Pres. Peres, at a meeting with French President Sarkozy in Jerusalem (5 Jan 2009): "Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization and an Iranian agent, and it is essential to stop Iran's entry into Gaza through passageways and tunnels.
President Peres noted that tons of explosives and long-range rockets have been smuggled from Iran through tunnels in the last half-year, and that Iran was using Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza as malicious proxies and represents a tangible threat to the State of Israel and all of the Middle East."
FM Livni at a press conference with delegates of the EU (5 Jan 2009): "What we face in the Gaza Strip is terror. Hamas, which hasn't met the requirements of the international community to accept Israel’s right to exist and to renounce violence and terrorism, is the same Hamas that has been targeting Israel for eight years now. This is the same Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip, a place that Israel left in order to give hope for peace. And now we need to act against terror, against Hamas, because this is part of our responsibility as a government, to give a peaceful life to our citizens.
"Now, as long as Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, as long as it doesn't accept the international community’s requirements, it is an obstacle not only to Israel but to the entire international community and to the Palestinians as well.
"Unfortunately, there are those who cannot accept the idea of living in peace in this region. We see that the region is being divided between moderates and extremists; it’s as clear and simple as that. Everybody in this region needed to choose a camp, to choose where he belongs. Hamas has made its choice, by definition. It works with Iran, gets weapons from Iran, its headquarters are in Damascus, and it works closely with Hizbullah. The entire region, the moderate leadership in this region, understands that.
President Shimon Peres to foreign press (4 Jan 2009): "Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization, and its members are brutal people of the lowest order. They do not reject any means of launching terror attacks against Israel, including the use of the local population as human shields... I see how they are making use of children in Gaza and I am shocked - strapping them to bombs and using them as a means of warfare... Israel has restrained itself as much as was possible, and today the time has come to give Hamas the warranted response."
FM Livni to Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Saltanov (4 Jan 2009): "Hamas is a threat not only to Israel, it is a threat to the region. The action that Israel is today taking against Hamas represents the struggle of the international community against the extremist forces. This is how it should be perceived."
FM Livni to President Sarkozy in Paris (1 Jan 2009): "The war that Israel is waging against Hamas is one of the fronts of the war against extremist forces operating in the region. Hamas thought that Israel would agree to a reality in which its citizens are fired at on a daily basis, and today they understand that they were mistaken… We must understand and emphasize that it is these same terrorists who are today hiding in bunkers in Gaza who brought this suffering on the residents of the Gaza Strip.
"Hamas is responsible for what is happening in Gaza, and Hamas is to blame for the situation of its residents."
FM Livni at a press conference for foreign journalists in Sderot (31 Dec 2008): "For eight years now, Israel has been under attack from the Gaza Strip and it has become worse. Hamas, which is an extreme Islamic organization, a terrorist organization, a designated terrorist organization, took control of the Gaza Strip and, in a way, took its civilians hostage and has been targeting Israel on a daily basis.
"Hamas does not represent any kind of legitimate right or aspiration of the Palestinian people - it expresses its extremist ideology in the Gaza Strip vis-a-vis Israel and others in the region. Its ties are with Iran, Syria, and other radical elements in the region."
[Following Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip] "instead of the creation of something that gives hope to the Palestinian people, as well as to the Israeli people, Hamas took control and has been abusing the situation in order to target Israel."
"One of the elements of the truce declared six months ago was full cessation of the smuggling of weapons through the tunnels. Unfortunately, Hamas did not do that, and violated this agreement."
"Some of the places in which Hamas manufacture missiles are buildings in which people are living."
"They [the moderate Arab states] know that Hamas is a terrorist organization and they know that Hamas represents the agenda of hatred. They know that the conflict here is no longer a conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but it is a conflict between the moderates and the extremists. They know that Iran is the threat in this region, to them as well, not only the Palestinians, but the pragmatic Palestinian leadership, and also to other Arab and Muslim states, and they know the nature of this threat, believe me, better than the rest of us. Because the Arab world faces this kind of radical element back home, they know that we cannot afford Hamas in the region."
FM Livni in interview to Al-Jazeera (29 Dec 2008): "Whoever wants peace in the region, with a two-state solution, must understand that we must fight terror and extremism. Confronting Hamas is the only way for the Palestinians to enjoy a good life in a country of their own. Israel wants peace, and must operate against the Hamas in order to achieve this... Hamas does not want peace; Hamas uses the residents of Gaza as hostages. Israel proposes a vision of peace, while Hamas proposes a vision of war. Peace with Israel and calm in the region can only be achieved by dialogue. This situation cannot continue. Hamas, Iran and Hizbullah are enemies of the free world."
FM Livni in response to questions by the foreign press (29 Dec 2008): "When Israel strikes at Hamas, it makes every attempt to avoid civilian casualties. Hamas actively targets children; it targets kindergartens and schools, as well as civilians - because this conforms with its extremist values. Our own values are completely different. There is no point in placing Israel and Hamas in the same moral equation. We strike at Hamas, who use civilians as human shields; Hamas deliberately targets civilians. Hamas does not care what happens to the residents of Gaza."
FM Livni's address to the Knesset (29 Dec 2008): "Hamas is an extremist Islamic organization that does not represent any of the Palestinian people’s aspirations, but rather is ruling them for its own ends and purposes. Hamas does not recognize the existence of Israel or Israel’s right to exist here. It lives off fear and hate. Hamas receives support from Iran and Syria, in the form of money, weapons, and training. Hamas is a terrorist organization.
"Hamas, which is ruling Gaza, refuses to accept the three conditions of recognizing Israel, renouncing terror, and accepting previous agreements.
"Israel has been under attack from Gaza for the past eight years. We did everything we could to prevent a deterioration of the situation. We agreed to the calm that was immediately violated by Hamas when it refused to advance the release of Gilad Shalit, continued to arm itself, and continued firing. The calm was violated by Hamas. Hamas is the party responsible for violating the calm.
"Hamas is a terrorist organization – and we are treating it as such….Israel would like to reiterate to anyone with complaints about the [Gazan] population, to redirect them to the party directly responsible for the population’s situation – Hamas, which is holding the population hostage.
"Hamas is a problem for the entire Palestinian people and not just Israel’s problem. … The road to peace passes through the war on terror, extremism, hate and incitement, which means a war against Hamas and those like Hamas.
FM briefing to the diplomatic corps (28 Dec 2008): Hamas is a terrorist organization with a radical ideology and it's not willing to accept the demands of the international community. It is the enemy. Hamas is illegitimate and its control of the Gaza Strip is illegitimate.
In order to make a change on the ground, the international community has to make the distinction between Hamas and Israel, and to put pressure on Hamas.
The role of the world leaders is to stand up and announce clearly: Hamas is responsible. Hamas is the ruler and Hamas put the population of Gaza in danger.
FM Livni briefing to foreign press (27 Dec 2008): Israel left Gaza in order to create an opportunity for peace. In return, the Hamas terror organization took control of Gaza and is using its citizens as cover while it deliberately targets Israeli communities and denies any chance for peace.
We have tried everything to reach calm without using force. We agreed to a truce through Egypt that was violated by Hamas, which continued to target Israel, hold Gilad Shalit and build up its arms.
Israel continues to act to prevent humanitarian crisis and to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians. Unfortunately, Hamas cynically abuses its own civilian population and their suffering for propaganda purposes. The responsibility for harm to civilians lies with Hamas.
Hamas is a terrorist organization, supported by Iran, that does not represent the legitimate national interests of the Palestinian people but a radical Islamist agenda that seeks to deny peace for the peoples of this region.
While confronting Hamas, Israel continues to believe in the two-state solution and remains committed to negotiations with the legitimate Palestinian Authority in the context of the peace process, launched at Annapolis.
PM Olmert briefing (27 Dec 2008): On Thursday, 25 December 2008, I made it clear to the residents of Gaza that we are not acting against them and that we have no intention of punishing them for the actions of Hamas. We will see to the needs of the population in Gaza and will do our utmost to prevent a humanitarian crisis that will impinge upon residents' lives.
Residents of Gaza, we are not your enemies and we are not fighting against you. This terrorist organization has brought disaster to two peoples. Israel is not fighting the Palestinian people but the Hamas terrorist organization that has taken it upon itself to act against the residents of Israel. Therefore, the targets that were attacked today were selected accordingly, with stress being placed on avoiding harm to innocents.
FM Livni to Egyptian Pres Mubarak (Dec 25): "Hamas needs to understand that Israel's basic desire to live in a tranquil region doesn't mean that Israel is willing to accept ongoing shooting at its population."
President Peres in Sderot (Dec 24): "In Gaza they light rockets, and in Sderot we light candles... To the Palestinians I say - we do not want to see you suffering on account of Hamas's guilt. The moment that you stop firing rockets at us, there will be quiet in Gaza and the crossings will be open."
FM Livni (22 Dec): "We cannot accept a situation in which Hamas continues to attack Israeli civilians in cities and communities within Israeli sovereign territory."
PM Olmert to Cabinet (21 Dec): "Last June, we decided on the calm agreement... The calm could exist only as long as it was administered by both sides and not with one side relentlessly launching Kassams and mortars... The State of Israel will know when to respond correctly and with the necessary responsibility."
PM Olmert address to AIPAC Conference (3 June): "A clear distinction must be made between the Palestinian Authority, headed by President Abbas, and the Hamas terrorist organization, operating in and controlling Gaza. Israel has never, nor will it ever, negotiate with Hamas, as long as it refuses to accept the three principles set forth by the international community. The reality on Israel's southern border is intolerable. Tens of thousands of innocent Israeli citizens live daily in constant fear and anxiety, under a barrage of missiles, serving as pawns in a cruel, malicious game of roulette played by the Hamas and its cronies in the Gaza Strip. While we have no desire to see the uninvolved Palestinian population in Gaza suffer, we cannot be expected to accept a situation that no other nation in the world would tolerate. Sderot and the other communities in the south of Israel have, over the past seven years, suffered the largest number of missiles launched from the Gaza Strip.
Israel will not be deterred by a large military operation in Gaza if and when we come to the conclusion that this is the best way to restore calm on our southern border, but the fact that no such operation has yet taken place does not imply that we are not taking action. The battle against the terrorists in Gaza is a daily and continuous one. Every day, the government and the security forces weigh all possible alternatives, and make the choice which we believe is the wisest and most effective."
PM Olmert (14 May): "A couple of days ago, I had a visit from General Omar Suleiman, the head of the Egyptian military intelligence. We discussed the possible terms for what may emerge as a cease-fire in the Gaza district. The fact is that while Gen. Suleiman was visiting here, Qassam rockets were still fired at innocent people in the South of Israel and two people were killed. And this is a very threatening signal. An organization which pretends to want to stop terror can’t continue to shoot at innocent people. We will make exceptional efforts that it will not expend, but Israel naturally will not be able to tolerate continuous attacks on innocent civilians. We hope that we will not have to act against Hamas in other ways with the military power that Israel has not yet started to use in a serious manner in order to stop it. But it entirely depends on responding positively to the principles set forth by me and by the Israeli Cabinet in order to stop these operations."
FM Tzipi Livni addresses AHLC Donors' Conference in London (2 May): "Gaza is controlled by Hamas - an organization that continues to reject the Quartet principles and has turned Gaza into a launching pad for daily terror attacks that traumatize Israeli civilian communities.
Our shared strategy requires that we continue the policy of de-legitimizing those who reject the core principles of peace based on the vision of two nation States.
The situation in Gaza is an intolerable one for Israel's citizens, but it is not just Israel's problem. As long as it is controlled by a terror organization, Gaza will be a major obstacle on the path to the creation of a Palestinian State.
Our strategy is based on the basic principle that Palestinian aspirations can be realized only in the negotiation room and never through terror. It is for this reason that we are committed to the negotiations, and it is for this very same reason that we - Israel, the legitimate Palestinian government, the Arab world, and the entire international community - cannot afford to appease or reward Hamas.
At the same time, I want to make clear that our policy in the Gaza Strip continues to distinguish between the terrorist organizations and the civilian population. Israel remains committed to facilitating humanitarian assistance and will continue our cooperation with international organizations engaged in this effort.
The crossings are open. Hundreds of humanitarian trucks enter Gaza weekly, providing medical supplies, food stuffs, fuel, and basic necessities.
We are in an absurd situation in which the crossings - a life line for Palestinians in Gaza - are targeted by the very people who pretend to seek the welfare of the Palestinian population.
The reality is that Israel has shown more concern for the welfare of civilians in the Gaza Strip than Hamas ever has.
We have continued to facilitate humanitarian assistance despite continued attacks on crossing points, including the recent murder of two Israelis engaged in fuel distribution to Gaza, and the car bombs detonated at the Kerem Shalom crossing, aimed at killing those Israelis who operate it.
It is Hamas that has chosen to reject the Quartet principles. It is Hamas that - even after the disengagement - has chosen to allow terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians to be launched daily from Gaza and that is engaged in terror itself. It is Hamas that continues to hold Gilad Shalit hostage. And it is Hamas that must bear the responsibility for the choices it has made and for the situation it has created.
FM Livni in response to terror attack at Nahal Oz (Apr 9): "Hamas, which rules in Gaza, can prevent any terror activity emanating from Gaza. The question of which terror organization carried out the attack or was sent by Hamas is irrelevant. Responsibility for every terror attack lies with Hamas - and Hamas must bear the consequences."
PM Olmert to Czech PM Topolánek (Mar 10): "I said that we do not wake up in the morning and look for a reason to fire at terrorists in Gaza. We fire because they fire at us; we fight because they fight us. If terror stops, if the Kassams stop landing on the residents of Sderot, and the Grad missiles stop landing on the residents of Ashkelon and the Gaza envelope communities and they return to a life of quiet and tranquility; if there is no more terrorist activity; if there will be no more weapons smuggling; if there are no violent actions directed at Israel - Israel will have no reason to fight the terrorists there.
The Minister of Defense repeated this statement today, and my statements from several days ago - as well as those today - accurately reflect Israel's policy. There is no agreement; there is no negotiation, neither directly or indirectly. There is an unequivocal Israeli demand which will not change, and if this demand is met, in any case negotiations will not be necessary.
I hope the prime minister will take back home to his country the message of our government today - a message of determination and resolve with regard to our struggle against terror organizations and the murders carried out in the south and in the center of the country, as well as our profound commitment to continuing the political process, and to providing a genuine chance to at least reach an outline to a political solution on which both we and the Palestinians can agree during 2008."
Security Cabinet decision - March 5
FM Livni in joint press conference with US Secy of State Rice (Mar 5): "The Israeli government with the help of Secretary Rice will continue the peace negotiations while giving an answer to Israeli civilians being attacked by Hamas." (full text)
FM Livni to the Diplomatic Corps (Mar 3): "If we let Hamas know that by using terror they win the cessation of negotiations, this will only give them a good reason to continue terrorism. We decided to enter the negotiating room because in so doing, we can create a genuine alternative to Hamas and undermine Hamas at the same time...
Hamas are not going to be the ones who decide when to start targeting Israel and when to stop. We are going to change the rules of this game. We will continue in different operations until they understand that cessation of violence is something which relates also to Israel's need to ensure the security of its citizens and to prevent any kind of a buildup of forces through the Philadelphi Corridor." (full text)
PM Olmert at Knesset session in honor of the President of Hungary (Mar 3): "[This is] a difficult time of severe escalation in the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror attacks, supported by Iran, against cities and communities in the south of Israel. Rampant rocket firing from the Gaza Strip against our citizens has been going on for seven years and Israel will be forced to step up its operations until we achieve cessation of terror from Gaza against our citizens. I hope and believe that the members of the European Union will understand and support those necessary steps that we will take in order to put an end to this intolerable situation. Israel seeks peace and aspires to achieving it.
In these very days, negotiations launched at Annapolis between the President of the Palestinian Authority Abu-Mazen, Prime Minister Salem Fayyad and me, continue. However, Israel will not acquiesce to the continued rocket firing and the attempts to establish a Hizbullah-like armed, terrorist and fundamentalist military base on its border."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sky News (Mar 2): The IDF operation in Gaza is a determined effort on behalf of Israel to put an end to this absurdity of Hamas militants' daily launching of rockets into our cities. (full text)
PM Ehud Olmert to Cabinet (Mar 2): "Nobody has the right to preach morality to the State of Israel for taking basic action to defend itself and prevent hundreds of thousands of residents of the south from continuing to be exposed to incessant firing that disrupts their lives." (full text)
Israeli statement to UN Security Council emergency meeting (Mar 1): "Israel has exercised restraint for many months now. This has been in spite of the constant firing of rockets and mortar shells on our towns and villages in southern Israel, every single hour, every single day. And this is in spite of Hamas' attempt to carryout terrorist attacks wherever they can target and kill an Israeli.
While Israel has been showing restraint, Hamas has showed no intention of ceasing its vicious attacks. Since Wednesday (27 Feb), more than 150 rockets were fired at Israel, dozens in the past 24 hours alone. More than a quarter of a million Israeli citizens are in the range of the deadly and murderous weapons of Hamas, care of Hamas, of its backers in the region and their malicious vision." (full text)
DM Ehud Barak (Mar 1): "The operation in Gaza is ongoing. Hamas will be held responsible... We are not happy Gaza residents are hurt, but the responsibility lies with Hamas and those firing rockets. Our responsibility is to keep the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and the Gaza vicinity communities safe, and that we will do."
PM Ehud Olmert to Japanese FM Masahiko Koumura (Feb 27): "It's unacceptable that on the Israeli side, an eight-year-old boy will lose his leg and a ten-year-old boy will nearly lose his arm, while the other side remains unharmed. Hamas must bear responsibility for the situation."
FM Livni (26 Feb 2008): "Terror continues to emanate from Gaza. Only yesterday another Israeli child was wounded by shrapnel from a Kassam rocket. Israel is at the forefront of the struggle against extremists, but they are waging war on the entire Western world. Anyone who believes that turning a blind eye will stop them does not understand that terror can strike at his own country as well.
Israel will continue to fight terror from Gaza as long as necessary. The world must understand the nature of Hamas as a terror organization based on an extremist Islamic ideology, and continue its delegitimization. This is an important element in the struggle against Hamas and the terror it produces."
PM Olmert to Cabinet (17 Feb 2008): "There is an almost daily war in the south and terrorist leaders are certainly a target. We will not slacken on this issue and we will continue to struggle in order to reduce to nil the threat that is upsetting the quality of life of residents of the south. Of course, there are also other measures that we are using, including sanctions and striking at the supply of materials that could serve the terrorist organizations, including energy, and this is being carried out according to the decision of the Cabinet, in coordination with the considerations of the security establishment at the behest of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, with my assent."
PM Olmert to Cabinet (10 Feb 2008): "Sderot and the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip were attacked over the weekend, but especially yesterday, with dozens of missiles and rockets. This assault came in response to very aggressive, vigorous and comprehensive action by the IDF and the security forces, which killed and wounded many Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorists...
There is no doubt that the pain is felt by all; the outrage is natural. But it must be clear that outrage is not a plan for action. We must act in a systematic and orderly fashion over time. This is what we are doing. This is what we will continue to do. We will continue to reach all the responsible terrorists including those who dispatch and operate them." (full text)
FM Livni to the press (10 Feb 2008): "An eight-year old child lost a leg today and the doctors are trying to save the other one, while his brother, severely injured, is in the same hospital with other members of the same family. The world cannot dismiss this by simply saying that there are casualties on both sides. This is not a just comparison. Israeli families, are being targeted, deliberately, on a daily basis from the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other terrorist organizations that control the Gaza Strip...
This is not a vicious cycle; this can be stopped by Hamas today. Israel is acting according to its duty and responsibility to defend its citizens. The deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians must be stopped." (full text)
FM Livni at UN Model (10 Feb 2008): "An Israeli child who suffers terror-inflicted injuries is not similar to a civilian who is injured unintentionally by defensive measures anchored in international law." (full text)
Israeli representative at the UN Security Council (22 Jan 2008): "Why is the Council not concerned with the safety and security of Israel’s children, women, and elderly who live in the southern city of Sderot? Why is the Council silent as they live in fear and panic each and every day?
With Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and its rocket launchers pointed at Sderot, Israel faces an impossible situation. Israel must and will protect its civilian population from these rocket attacks. It is the duty of all States to ensure the right to life and safety of its people, especially from vicious acts of violence and terrorism that are carried out with the sole purpose of maiming, terrorizing, and murdering the innocent." (full text)
PM Ehud Olmert (3 Sept 2007): "Rocket barrages have once again been launched on Sderot. They threatened the wellbeing of kindergarten children in this rocket-battered town, which has been exposed to the terror groups' brutality for over five years. We will not put up with this attack. The IDF has been instructed to destroy all launchers and target anyone involved in the attacks. We will hit all those in the chain of command who harbor terrorists and act against the State of Israel."