“Shooting mortars at a preschool crosses a serious redline,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said. “We cannot allow terrorist organizations to hurt and undermine the security of the children and other residents of the ‘Gaza envelope’ towns.”
Former defense minister MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union), a resident of Sderot, said the salvos from Gaza were unlike anything seen since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge and called on the IDF to respond.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Hamas is in charge in the Gaza Strip and it must pay the price,” Peretz said.
Yesh Atid MK Haim Jelin, a former head of the Eshkol region, which was struck by mortar shells, called on residents to continue their daily routine, and for the government to make sure there is an appropriate response that leads to an end to the attacks.
“Protective Edge ended with the heads of Hamas knowing that we bombed their families’ homes. They also have vulnerabilities. They cannot disrupt our daily lives and civilian resilience,” Jelin said.
Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) called the bombardment unusually strong.
“Before the drizzle turns into a heavy rain, we must rethink the strength of the Israeli response and the message to terrorist organizations in Gaza,” she said. “The rules of the game must be clear to all. The IDF will exact a heavy, personal price from whoever fuels the fires of terrorism.”
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said he expected to hear “clear condemnations from across the world of this attack on a civilian population.”
Several Joint List lawmakers blamed the situation on Israel.
MK Ahmad Tibi called to stop the escalation, and for the international community to “ease the distress and remove the blockade on Gaza.
“There are those who run in the direction of escalation and aggression as though the mortars are the first event, but that is not so,” Tibi said. “While we call to remove civilians from the cycle of violence, we call to allow the residents of Gaza to continue to demonstrate in nonviolent marches, which embarrassed the occupation, and not to give [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and his extremist government any excuse to stop these marches.”
According to Tibi, “the blockade is the root of all evil and the reason for the tension, friction and conflict.”