Gaza flare-up: IDF boosts forces as Hamas threatens

Gaza flare-up: IDF boosts forces as Hamas threatens

Israel is reinforcing its forces along the Gaza Strip in the wake of increasing terror and the possibility of a Hamas infiltration across the border. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News 

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot has ordered the Israel Defense Forces to strengthen its presence on the border with Gaza ahead of an impending flare-up with the Hamas terror organization.

Senior military and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) officials decided to reinforce IDF forces in the Southern Command area in the coming days and “continue the determined policy” to prevent terrorist infiltration from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

“We are prepared for a variety of scenarios and see Hamas responsible for the situation in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

After weeks of relative quiet in the south, the border with Gaza has again become violent Gaza-based terrorists renewed their airborne arson terror campaign against Israeli citizens living in the Gaza envelope, launching dozens of balloons laden with flammable materials towards Israel.

On Wednesday, two Gazans, one of whom was armed with a knife, broke through the Gaza border fence into Israel. IDF troops apprehended them and transferred them to security forces for further questioning. Also Wednesday, a 15-year-old Palestinian was killed during a riot near the Erez crossing into Israel, Gaza’s Health Ministry reported.

The ministry claimed the boy died of a head injury after IDF troops shot him. An AP cameraman who witnessed the incident said the boy was hit by a tear gas canister.

Possible Ceasefire?

A senior Hamas delegation headed by Deputy Hamas Chief Saleh al-Aruri returned to Gaza Wednesday ending a four-day visit to Cairo.

During the visit, the Hamas officials held several discussions with Egyptian intelligence, including a meeting with the Egyptian Intelligence Minister Major General Abbas Kamel.

The meetings were “characterized of [sic] being open and serious and of tackling all issues related to the Palestinian cause, bilateral relations, and current and future political developments,” Hamas said in a statement.

“Both parties reciprocated trust and understanding about all the issues being discussed,” Hamas stated.

One of the issues discussed was a possible ceasefire with Israel.