The IDF has struck more than 40 targets in the Gaza Strip in the most extensive daytime attack since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in response to the recent attacks by Hamas, which has fired about 100 rockets and projectiles at southern Israel.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned that Hamas will regret it if it does not cease hostilities.
“We have been through a stormy weekend. With regards to the rest of the week, it is important to emphasize that we have no intention of tolerating this — not rockets, not kites, not drones — nothing. I hope that Hamas has drawn conclusions, and if they do not reach a conclusion, they will need to pay a heavy price,” Lieberman noted.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Hamas had been hit “substantially and hard” and vowed that the Palestinian forces would suffer the consequences of attacking Israel.
“Our policy is clear: Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday. The IDF dealt Hamas the harshest blow since Operation Protective Edge. I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later,” the prime minister stated at a weekly cabinet meeting.
According to the IDF, some 200 rockets and missiles were fired by Hamas at Israeli areas near the Gaza Strip over the weekend. Israeli forces were unable to intercept all of them, with dozens of people being injured as a result of the strikes.
The situation along the Israel-Gaza border has significantly deteriorated since late March, when a rally called the “Great March of Return” began on the border, with Palestinian protesters claiming the right of return for Palestinians displaced during the war that followed Israel’s creation in 1948.