Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stark warning to the Palestinian Authority and to the international community during Sunday’s cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
The gist of his remarks was that Israel will not hesitate to launch a full-scale military operation against the Gaza Strip if the situation along the coastal enclave’s border continues to deteriorate.
Over the past couple weeks, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have encouraged an intensification of violent disturbances along the Strip’s security fence. Unlike similar demonstrations earlier in the year, those taking part are now hurling grenades and firebombs at Israeli soldiers and openly trying to breach the border.
Netanyahu expects that the violence will only increase with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas threatening to cut all funding to the terrorist-ruled territory. Hamas and other Palestinian groups typically deflect criticism of their own shortcomings by instigating violence against Israel. Said Netanyahu:
“If the reality of civil distress in Gaza is diminished, that is desirable, but that is not certain to happen, and so we are preparing militarily — that is not an empty statement.”