Jerusalem (AFP) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday warned the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip that Israel will "hurt" them if they try to attack the Jewish state.
"We have one clear and simple rule and we seek to express it constantly: If someone tries to attack you, rise up and attack him," said Netanyahu in the wake of clashes on the Israel-Gaza border in which more than 30 Palestinians have been killed.
"We will not allow, here on the Gaza border, them to hurt us. We will hurt them," he said during a visit to the southern town of Sderot which has been the target of cross-border rocket attacks by militants in Gaza.
In the face of 10 days of protests and violence along the Gaza border, Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinians, according to Gaza's health ministry.
Israel says it opens fire when necessary to stop damage to the border fence, infiltrations and attempted attacks.
It alleges Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip and with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.