Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday issued a thinly-veiled threat against Hamas, warning Israel might have to resort to targeted killings if the terror group continues to launch attacks on Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip.
Tensions on the southern border have risen over the past several weeks, with militants in the Hamas-controlled enclave sporadically firing rockets launching explosives attached to balloons at Israeli cities and towns.
Netanyahu kicked off the weekly cabinet meeting by warning Hamas that its leaders might face the same fate as the military leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Baha Abu Al Atta, killed in an Israeli raid three months ago.
“Only a few weeks ago, we targeted the senior Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, and I suggest that both Islamic Jihad and Hamas should refresh their memories,” said the prime minister. “I will not go into detail about all of our plans in front of the media, but we are prepared to take devastating action against the terrorist organizations in Gaza.”
Bennett, meanwhile, toured the IDF’s Gaza Division and met with high-profile military officials. He also went on to imply that Israel will go back to targeted killings if the attacks originating in Gaza won’t cease.
“No one is immune,” said Bennett. “The lawless conduct of Hamas leaders is bringing us closer to taking a decisive action against them. We won’t reveal when or where it will happen, but the action we would take will be very different from any previous ones,” he added.
"The State of Israel does not want a war with Hamas, but we have a commitment to the residents of the south.”
The exchanges of fire between the militants in Gaza and the Israeli military have become a near-daily occurrence. On Saturday evening a rocket from Gaza landed in a nearby Israeli community with a rocket alert siren being sounded prior.
The army responded by striking a series of Hamas targets in the enclave.