Israeli PM warns Hamas of heavy price if tension escalates

Israeli PM warns Hamas of heavy price if tension escalates
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Jerusalem: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Hamas will have to pay a heavy price if it further escalates the tension along the Israel-Gaza border.

Netanyahu made the remarks at a memorial ceremony to honor the Israeli soldiers killed during Israel’s last large-scale military campaign in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, Xinhua reported.

The hardline Israeli leader warned that if the leaders of Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement that runs Gaza, chooses escalation, the price that they will have to pay “will be unbearable”.

Netanyahu said that Hamas failed to achieve one of its goals in 2014, which was “to isolate Israel on the international stage.”

“Not only has that not happened, but the exact opposite has happened: even the Arab states — or leading states in the Arab world — identified with our position, and I have reason to believe that today this is doubly true,” the prime minister said.

A surge of violence along the Israel-Gaza border has been continuing since Palestinians began holding so-called Great March of Return rallies since March to protest the blockade imposed by Israel since 2007, when Hamas took over the Palestinian enclave.

At least 135 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during the clashes since the protests started on March 30. (Agencies)