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Israel minister: We will return with 500 coffins if we enter Gaza

Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi yesterday justified the Israeli prime minister’s decision not to launch a new war on Gaza saying “Hamas had a reason to attack”.

“It wasn’t that Hamas acted without a pretext. It had a pretext — to try to exact revenge. Its revenge was minor. In all, it managed, with 400 rockets, to kill one Palestinian,” Hanegbi told Army Radio.

When it was put to him that one rocket fell on an empty kindergarten, Hanegbi replied: “The empty kindergarten – that’s always talked about. But those 500 coffins – of the Israeli youths that would come back if we sent them into [Gaza’s] Jabalaya [refugee camp] – would not be empty.”

The minister’s comments stirred controversy across Israeli political spectrum.

On Sunday evening, the Qassam Brigades foiled an Israeli operation carried out by a special unit which infiltrated east of Khan Yunis province, killing the unit commander and wounding another soldier.

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