Israeli Education Minister and chairman of HaBayit HaYehudi Naftali Bennett harshly responded to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit’s statement and said that Israel should not apologize for eliminating terrorists during the strike on the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad tunnel.

Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett Photo Credit: Flash90/Channel 2 News

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett addressed (Tuesday) the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit’s announcement according to which there was no intention to kill senior Hamas and PIJ terrorists during the strike on a terror tunnel on Monday. “No apology should be given for successfully eliminating terrorists,” said Bennett. “These are terrorists who were digging a terror tunnel within Israeli territory, which was intended for killing Israeli women and children.”

Bennett also commented on the current tensions in southern Israel. “We are not looking for an escalation [in violence], and as a member of the [Security] Cabinet who since Operation Protective Edge has been working towards neutralizing the tunnel threat, I completely endorse the operation,” he said. “The IDF’s purpose is to defeat the enemy and this should be continued.”

Terrorists eliminated during IDF tunnel strike

Terrorists eliminated during IDF tunnel strike Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed Monday’s tunnel strike. “We aspire for peace, but we will not suffer any attack on our sovereignty, our people and our land – from the air, sea, ground and beneath it,” he said during a speech at a ceremony commemorating 100 years of liberation in Beersheba on Tuesday. “We attack those who wish to attack us. And to those who are considering it, I suggest you don’t try to test Israel’s strength and the IDF’s strength.”

As previously reported by JOL, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit clarified that the terrorists died during evacuation from the tunnel and not as a result of a direct strike. The unit also said that although the tunnel belonged to the PIJ, the IDF holds Hamas responsible as the Gaza Strip’s governing body.