Israel "will need to use all its force in order to damage terror infrastructure and create a different and safe reality in the Gaza vicinity," said IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, in a speech to graduating cadets from the IDF Flight School on Tuesday.
The IDF and the air force are prepared for any operation necessary and are prepared to act "wisely and responsibly in order to continue to constitute a defensive shield around Israel," he said.
"Here, just a few kilometers away, Hamas is disrupting the daily lives of the residents of the south by firing dozens of rockets while trying to instill fear and terror among our citizens."
The rocket fire emanating from the Strip subsided on Thursday, with only five Qassams launched toward the Negev region since the early morning hours. There were no reports of injuries or damage. On Wednesday over 60 rockets and mortars were fired towards Israel.
Meanwhile, the diplomatic efforts to restore the truce between Israel and the armed Palestinian groups in Gaza are continuing. During his meeting with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni earlier in the day, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that Israel exercise restraint despite the heavy rocket fire on Israeli communities.
He also demanded that Hamas and the Palestinian organizations stop firing at Israel.
Livni made it clear to Mubarak that Israel would not turn a blind eye to the ongoing firing of rockets at innocent civilians, after Hamas itself declared that the ceasefire was over.
The FM said following her visit to Cairo that "with all due respect to Egypt, I didn't come here to get permission for a military operation and I wouldn’t want to make Egypt seem as if it was giving such permission."