Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cautioned on Tuesday Israel would respond to any attempts to violate an Egyptian-brokered truce that went into effect earlier in the day, ending four days of cross-border violence with Palestinians in Gaza.
"Our message is that quiet will bring quiet. Anyone who violates it or even tries to violate it, our guns will find him," Netanyahu said in a speech in Jerusalem, echoing a previous statement by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Benny Gantz.
Israel and Gaza have agreed to an Egyptian brokered cease-fire in which the IDF agreed to halt operations in the Gaza Strip if Palestinians in the coastal territory stopped firing rockets at Israel.
Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a visit to the IDF’s Gaza Division that the situation in the South is relatively calm, "considering that we are at the end of this round [of violence]."
Praising the way the IDF operated in the past four days of fighting, Barak said the army "once again demonstrated the fact that [it] will strike anyone attempting to act against us."
While nobody knows when the next time it will be necessary, the IDF continues to be committed to acting against anyone "plotting, attempting or preparing operations against [Israeli] citizens or against IDF soldiers along the border," Barak added.
The defense minister went on to lay great praise on the Iron Dome rocket defense system, saying it contributes not only to the safety of citizens in the South, but also to deterring Palestinians in Gaza and to the political and military echelon’s freedom of operation and decision-making.
The Iron Dome’s interception rate in recent days was exceptional, Barak said.
If everything goes according to plan, the IDF will deploy a fourth Iron Dome battery within two or three weeks, which will allow it to protect a wider area, he added.
But the defense minister also said the government needs to ensure that the type of protection offered by Iron Dome is provided for the entire country and not only the South.