"Hamas and the other terror groups in the Gaza Strip should know that bringing harm to Israeli citizens will bring about a harsh response. They do not want to test our might," Gantz said during the Navy's annual memorial service for fallen soldiers, held in Ashdod.
- Report: Israel sends 2 warships to Egyptian border
- Op-ed: Should Egypt peace deal be modified
- IDF remains on high alert in south
- Israel allows 1,500 Egyptian troops into Sinai
- Egyptian forces raid Jihad cells in Sinai
Gantz's statements were made as Israel's security forces remained on high alert on the Egyptian border in response to a viable Islamic Jihad terror threat.
Military intelligence suggests that an Islamic Jihad terror cell has left the Gaza Strip and intends to infiltrate Israel through Sinai. Minister for Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai has been quoted as saying that the cell may number as many as 10 terrorists.
IDF Chief of Staff Gantz: 'Don't test us' (Photo: Ze'ev Trachtman)
Earlier Tuesday an Egyptian newspaper reported that the Egyptian military launched an operation against terror hubs in the Sinai Peninsula.
"The ongoing fire on the south's communities, the vehicular terror attack in Tel Aviv and the deadly terror attack on the Egyptian border prove yet again that we must be prepared to face any threat," Gantz noted.
Gantz also mentioned captive soldier Gilad Shalit, who turned 25 on Sunday: "Let me take this opportunity to emphasize that the IDF and the armed forces are doing everything within their power to bring back the missing soldiers and Gilad to their families as soon as possible."
The IDF is concerned that Egypt's hold over the Sinai Peninsula has loosened since the fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a situation that could lead to further terror attack attempts by Palestinian or international Jihad terrorist cells. These attempts could mirror the Eilat terror attack of two weeks ago in which eight people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Routes 10 and 12 which run adjacent to the Egyptian border remain closed and the IDF has made it clear that they will remain so until the terror threat passes.
The IDF has also deployed advanced technology in the area in order to thwart terror attacks. The Israeli Navy (INF) has also decided to boost its presence and patrols by dispatching two additional warships to Israel's Red Sea border with Egypt.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop