Israel PM vows ‘very powerful’ response if Hamas breaks truce

Jerusalem: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel’s response would be “very powerful” if Hamas violated the truce that ended 11 days of conflict with the Gaza militants.

“If Hamas breaks the calm and attacks Israel, our response will be very powerful,” the Israeli premier said, following a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who was in Jerusalem as part of US efforts to consolidate the ceasefire.

Israel and Hamas agreed last week to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended a conflict that killed more than 250 people in the Palestinian territory and 13 in Israel.

The Israelis pummeled civilian infrastructure in Gaza including hospitals and residential buildings with airstrikes, saying Hamas was hiding among civilians as it attacked Israel.

Blinken said the US would provide $75 million in new aid this year, in addition to $5.5 million in immediate disaster assistance after the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza strip and $32 million to a United Nations refugee agency that helps Palestinians.

Reflecting that the conflict was between Israel and Hamas — not the Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank — Blinken said “we will work to ensure that Hamas doesn’t benefit from these reconstruction efforts.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

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