Israeli PM Netanyahu says enemies will pay for acts of aggression

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed his country’s enemies would “pay a price” following a barrage of rockets from Lebanon that was blamed on Palestinian groups.

“We will strike our enemies and they will pay the price for any act of aggression,” Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting, according to a short video statement released by his office.

A barrage of 34 rockets was fired at Israel from Lebanon on the Jewish holiday of Passover — the largest escalation along the frontier since Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006.

It came just days after Israeli police drew widespread condemnation and warnings of retaliation from around the region for clashing with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque — Islam’s third-holiest site.

The site is known to Jews as the Temple Mount — considered the holiest site in Judaism.

“We have no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount,” he said, referring to a current arrangement that allows Jews to visit the site but not pray there.

“We are calling for calming the situation and we will take strong action against extremists who use violence there,” Netanyahu added.

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