A top Egyptian official on Saturday called on Palestinian factions in Gaza to maintain the lull with Israel, and warned that further escalation and rocket fire toward Israeli cities could prompt a military operation in the Strip.
Speaking to London-based al Hayat paper, the official said: "We cannot continue pushing the Israeli side and prevent it from striking Gaza, especially when the other Palestinian factions are not committed to keeping the lull."
- Israel demands UN censure of Gaza rocket fire
Rocket fire rocks south
IDF, terrorists exchange fire along Gaza fence
The official claimed that internal elements in Jerusalem are trying to push the IDF to give Gaza a hard blow, adding that his country is making efforts to dissuade Israel from mounting an offensive, but even their influence has boundaries.
In the interview, the Cairo official noted that even though the Jewish States' security establishment is aware that Hamas is not behind the recent rocket attacks on Israel, it still holds the Islamic faction directly responsible, due to its control over the Strip.
IDF vehicle after Thursday's fire exchange (Photo: Tsafrir Abayov)
Also on Saturday, former Shin Bet chief, MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) commented on the recent escalation in the south, saying "Israel will be forced to reconquer Gaza and disband the terror infrastructure if no other political solution is reached with the help of neighboring countries."
Referring to the Iranian nuclear threat, MK Dichter said: "This is not a new issue. The global intelligence community is in agreement that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. The Iranian threat is an existential one."
On Thursday, armed Palestinians opened fire on IDF forces that were working on the security fence near Kibbutz Zikim, north of the Gaza Strip.
The force was positioned near the fence when suddenly shots and mortar shells were fired at them from the Gaza Strip. The force responded with fire, killing two of the terrorists. The fire exchange lasted for over an hour. No injuries were reported among the IDF forces, but a military vehicle sustained light damage.
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