Fifteen years after Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip, an Israeli minister said the Jewish state would eventually re-invade the Hamas-run coastal enclave if rocket fire into Israel continued.
“We will eventually have to go all the way into Gaza and take over, because one day it will be impossible to do so,” Israel’s Community Affairs Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told i24 News.
“One day there will be so many rockets and missiles fired from Gaza that the Israeli public won’t accept the status quo anymore,” he added.
His comments came after a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel last week.
“It’s going to be painful. Sometimes terrorist organizations lose it, out of delusion or frustration. And this is when you are left without any option. I wouldn’t initiate going all the way in. Even when we have to take over the Gaza Strip one day, we don’t want to control the lives of two million people,” Hanegbi said.
In August 2005, Israel withdrew unilaterally from Gaza in a move that sparked widespread unrest. In 2007, the Fatah party, which is the ruling faction in the West Bank, was overthrown by Hamas in a bloody coup.
The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday said it bombed an “underground infrastructure belonging to the Hamas terror group in the northern Gaza Strip.”
The attack was carried out in response to incendiary balloons which were flown from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory throughout the day, the military said.
The balloons, one of which reached 50 miles into Israel, were carrying explosives and caused brush fires but no injuries.
“The State of Israel will not accept any violation of its sovereignty or harm to residents of the south,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter. “If the terror organizations still don’t understand, whoever tests Israel will be hit hard.”
On Sunday, civilian construction workers who were working on the security barrier bordering the Gaza Strip came under gunfire. IDF troops who arrived at the scene to evacuate the workers also came under fire. No injuries were reported.