Israel retaliated with airstrikes against the Gaza strip on December 26 after a rocket was fired from Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave towards Ashkelon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present in the city for an election rally and he was hustled from the stage to provide cover from the attack.
A video posted by an Israeli newspaper showed Netanyahu, along with his wife, being taken to a shelter after sirens went off. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said that the iron dome intercepted a rocket, mid-air, fired at civilians, from Gaza strip. In response to the attack, the Israeli Air Force struck a number of Hamas terror targets in Gaza.
IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, in an address, explained the forces plan to combat future threats. Kochavi said that Israel would not hesitate forcefully striking urban areas since it’s the enemy who chose to position itself there. “When we say there, it isn't just that the enemy chose to position itself there, but the enemy also chooses to fire thousands of rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians,” said Kochavi.
Calling it Israel’s mission to prevent the threat, Kochavi said that while the enemy does everything to attack civilians, Israeli forces base themselves on good intelligence, good striking capabilities, quality manoeuvring. “We will strike based on intelligence, and our intelligence capabilities are developing every day,” added Kochavi. He asserted that Israel will strike forcefully because “there is no other way to stop the very dangerous threat posed by the phenomenon of rockets and missiles” fired at Israel.
The Lieutenant-General later said that they will warn the population on the other side of the border and will allow civilians to evacuate. He said that the forces will also strike the infrastructure of the host country of these militant groups. Kochavi made it clear that Israel will launch strikes against anyone that host, allows, or even encourages such groups. “The responsibility lies with the Lebanese government, the responsibility lies with the Hamas, the responsibility lies with Syria and I won't point out at other countries,” he said.