IDF assess that Hamas is working to push clashes as close to
Israel’s “red line” as possible
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that Israel may
be forced to launch a “large-scale military operation” in the Gaza
Strip in response to continued launching of burning kites into Israel.
“I don’t want to launch an operation, but there is a good chance
that we will have no other option but to go in so that we can create
durable deterrence,” he said on Army Radio.
Erdan also remarked that anyone launching burning kites into
Israel should be treated like a terrorist and shot regardless of age.
“Age doesn’t matter, they’re terrorists and the danger they create
must be prevented,” he said.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who is also a member of the current
security cabinet, said on Army Radio that “there is no difference
between a burning kite and a Qassam rocket, and we should not
tolerate the kites.”
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) assess that Hamas is working to push
clashes as close to Israel’s “red line” as possible without a clear
understanding of Israel’s breaking point.
A military source told Haaretz that Hamas is attempting to act
within self-imposed boundaries by launching rockets only at
night and only toward smaller communities close to the border.
Though the incendiary kites and balloons have caused thousands
of dollars in damages, their launch rate has been relatively low
Erdan supported IDF assessments saying, “Hamas is incorrectly
assessing when our limit will be reached. If we continue to respond
in the way we have been, they will have to stop, because Hamas
doesn’t want to [get to a point] of confrontation that will [spell] its end
in the Gaza Strip.”
Following an exchange of rockets and retaliatory strikes Wednesday,
IDF spokesman Jonathon Conricus said, "The Hamas terror
organization targeted Israeli civilians throughout the night with a
severe rocket attack, and is dragging the Gaza Strip and its civilians
down a continually deteriorating path," the army said in a statement.
"Hamas is responsible for everything that transpires in the Gaza Strip
and will bear the consequences for deliberately targeting its terror at
Israeli civilians," it added.
Hamas countered by blaming Israel for heightened violence, saying
it had "changed the rules of engagement" by targeting positions in
response to kite and balloon arson attacks.