JERUSALEM, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Sunday warned Gaza militants against further rocket fire, saying Israel will strike anyone who threatens the lives of its civilians.
Ya'alon's remarks came hours after the Israel Air Force targeted an Islamic Jihad operative who the military said was involved in numerous rocket attacks on southern Israel in recent years, including the firing of five Katyushas at the coastal city of Ashkelon on Thursday.
It remained unclear if Ahmed Saad, 22, was killed by a missile fired in his direction while he was riding a motorbike in northern Gaza on Sunday morning. Palestinian medical officials said he suffered severe head injuries, and that a 12-year-old boy was moderately wounded in the strike.
"We won't allow anybody to return us to the days when rocket fire was a routine. Whoever does so will pay a very heavy price," Ya'alon said in a statement.
He said Israel holds the Islamist group of Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, responsible for events that occur in the Palestinian enclave.
"If it fails to impose its authority in the field, we'll continue harming its interests, too. I don't recommend anyone in Gaza test our patience and determination to safeguard the security of Israelis," said Ya'alon.
Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that he is committed to protecting southern Israel through a policy of prevention and "responding forcefully against those who try to harm us."
JERUSALEM, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the government is resolute in its efforts to maintain southern Israel calm and safe from rocket attacks.
The remark came after an airstrike on Sunday morning targeted an Islamic Jihad militant in the northern Gaza Strip whom the Israeli military said was directly involved in numerous rocket attacks. Full story