Israeli security cabinet OKs military action to confront Gaza rockets

The IDF presented various options at the cabinet meeting to target Hamas sites and get them to clamp down on Islamic Jihad, which seems to be behind the attacks.

By World Israel News Staff and JNS

Israel’s Security Cabinet authorized on Monday night a significant attack on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Air Force if rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled enclave does not stop.

“The ball is now in Hamas’s court,” an unnamed official told Ynet. “We are not interested in seeing violence escalate but are prepared for any event.”

According to officials, Israel was passing similar messages to Hamas through diplomatic channels.

Tor Wennesland of Norway, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in a round of talks Monday delivered the message to Hamas that Israel won’t stomach more rocket attacks and will react with force if Hamas doesn’t rein in its rockets, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday.

Three projectiles were launched overnight on Sunday in the direction of Sderot in southern Israel for the third night in a row. The Iron Dome air-defense system intercepted two of the rockets and one landed in the border area between Gaza and Israel, according to the Israeli military.

Israeli citizens in the country’s south have endured sleepless nights after enjoying relative calm during the period of the pandemic, which subdued Hamas aggression. They complain that the government has failed to adequately address the threat and the rest of the country appears indifferent to their fate.

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During the Cabinet meeting, the Israel Defense Forces presented various options to target Hamas sites, according to the report. Military officials told the Cabinet that Islamic Jihad seemed to be behind the attacks, and that Hamas passed on messages to Israel through the United Nations and Egyptian mediators that it was trying to get control of the situation.

However, Hamas also made threatening noises contradicting its claims at efforts of pacification. The Lebanese paper Al Akbar, which identifies with Hezbollah, reports that Hamas rejects all efforts to restore calm until Israel changes its policy in Jerusalem.

“Hamas demands an end to all incursions of settlers into the Al Aqsa compound and a stop to the Judaization of the city [of Jerusalem] and that Palestinian elections be permitted in east Jerusalem,” Hamas announced, according to the paper.

The IDF has not responded to the last attacks, reflecting a change in tactics. Instead of responding to every attack at it has done in the past, the IDF is keeping a “ledger” of Hamas attacks and will respond in force when it chooses. Israel made the change after reviewing previous rounds of violence and concluding that it didn’t exit them sufficiently victorious. It attributed this to the fact that Hamas was the one initiating the attacks.