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Netanyahu, Lieberman threaten Hamas with 'very powerful blows'

Oct. 15, 2018 12:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 3:28 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Hamas movement, on Sunday, with that the "Israeli army is edging closer to a large scale military activity" in the besieged Gaza Strip and "if Hamas has any sense, they will stop the violence immediately."

Netanyahu spoke at the start of the weekly Security Cabinet meeting and warned the Hamas movement Hamas by saying that the "Israeli army is edging closer to a large scale military activity in the Gaza Strip and if the ongoing border violence continues, Israel will strike the 'terror group' with very powerful blows."

He emphasized that the time has come to resort to "a different kind of activity" to resolve the situation in Gaza, adding that "if Hamas has any sense, they will stop the violence immediately."

Netanyahu stressed "Hamas has apparently not internalized the message—if they do not stop the violent attacks against us, they will be stopped in a different way and it will be very, very painful."

Netanyahu's remarks followed shortly after a statement from Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who also emphasized that Israel has reached the point where it is necessary to deal Hamas "the hardest blow."

Lieberman said in an interview with Ynet, "We have turned every stone and we have passed the point of no return. We have reached the stage where we must strike the hardest blow imaginable on Hamas."

However, after concluding a four-hour meeting, the Security Cabinet decided to continue efforts to achieve an agreement with Hamas, mediated by the Egyptian intelligence head Abbas Kamel, and the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, rather than to take harsh measures.

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