The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will not apologize for killing terrorists while blowing up a Hamas tunnel on Monday.
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said that the explosion, which killed seven terrorists, wounded 12 others and left five terrorists missing wasn’t meant to harm any Palestinian. Education Minister Naftali Bennett used Manelis’ statement to claim that the IDF was apologizing for killing terrorists.
“These were terrorists involved in digging an attack tunnel inside Israeli territory with which they intended to kill Israeli women and children,” Bennett tweeted.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman fired back on Twitter, writing that “comments like this seriously damage the security of Israel and the IDF.” Yesh Atid MK Elaza Stern, a former IDF general, issued a statement denouncing Bennett’s comments and stating that the IDF in no way apologized for the killing of terrorists.
“It is a shame that government ministers, instead of backing the IDF after an incident like this, chose once again to use it to score political points at the army’s expense,” said Stern.
Two of the terrorists killed in the tunnel explosion were senior commanders for the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has responded to the tunnel explosion by accusing Israel of using poison gas to kill the terrorist, who they referred to as “martyrs.”
“We call on all of the international organizations to stop these materials that the Israeli occupation is using against our unarmed people,” PA Health Ministry Spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said to the PA’s news outlet.
Hamas has called the explosion “a dangerous escalation against our people” and Iran referred to Israel as the “blood-sucking Zionist regime” in response to the explosion.