Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’ military wing, warned Israel not to enter Gaza if it did not wish to sustain major losses. “We will use weapons the occupation has never known before,” said Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
He said the organization was not afraid of threats by Israel’s military, but it was nevertheless preparing for a wide-scale ground invasion by the IDF.
According to Abu Ubaida, IDF helicopters regularly circled over the Strip, and military tanks and other equipment were multiplying daily by the Seam Line, mainly in the east and north.
“The Palestinian resistance is ready to deal with this aggression,” he said, “We will teach the enemy a lesson and send him home disappointed, just like many times before. We have nothing to lose, but this invasion will not be a walk in the park for the enemy. We will turn the Strip into a graveyard for the soldiers of the occupation.”
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter commented on the terror threats coming from Gaza, while at the opening of the Kadima branch in Sderot on Saturday night.
“If we see that it is not in our power to reach an agreement through negotiations with Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmouג Abbas) and other moderate sources in the Palestinian authority, and the terror from the Gaza Strip continues, we will resort to other ways, and Israel has ways to fight terror,” Dichter said.
During all recent security meetings, the question has not been whether or not to operate in the Strip, but when and how to do so.
“Everyone says we can’t let the situation become like it was in Southern Lebanon. Eventually we’ll have to stand behind those words,” a security source concluded.
Attila Somfalvi and Hanan Greenberg participated in this article