A senior Israeli commander told the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv on Tuesday that a large-scale military operation into Gaza was “inevitable” due to continued rocket fire into Israel.
The commander said Israel’s only option to stop rockets was to launch another military offensive similar to Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 3-week war on Gaza launched in Dec. 2008 that killed around 1,500 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes.
Abu Ahmad, a spokesman of Islamic Jihad’s military wing, warned Israel against another war.
“It seems the [Israeli] occupation has misinterpreted the resistance’ quietness, but the Zionists should be aware that we can trouble them and terrify them every time and in every place,” the Al-Quds Brigades spokesman said in a statement.
Meanwhile Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, said the resistance was ready to respond to any Israeli military action in Gaza.
The resistance will not allow Israel to carry out one-sided aggression on Gaza, he added.
Militant groups affiliated to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah have launched a volley of rockets across the Gaza border since Sunday in response to an Israeli airstrike on a busy neighborhood in Rafah that killed one Palestinian and injured 10 others, including five children.
Israel’s army said it had targeted two jihadi militants.
On Monday, Israeli forces fired a barrage of artillery shells on the southern Gaza Strip injuring five Palestinians and damaging a mosque and a water tower. Five schools in southern Gaza were evacuated Monday for safety reasons, the Ministry of Education said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma’an that 37 rockets had landed in southern Israel since Sunday.
Three rockets landed in Eshkol regional council at around 6 a.m. Tuesday causing no damage or injuries, an army spokesman told Ma’an.
The al-Asifa Army, a subdivision of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, said in a statement that it had fired two homemade projectiles at Kissufim military base at 1.20 a.m. on Tuesday.
The Ayman Judah Brigades, also affiliated to Fatah’s armed wing, said it fired a missile at Ashkelon on Tuesday.
Meanwhile the Jihad Jibril Brigades, a military wing affiliated to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said its fighters fired a missile at Israel’s al-Ayn military base.
Hamas’ military wing joined forces with Islamic Jihad fighters to fire rockets and mortars at Israeli military sites. The groups said their joint operations were in response to Israel’s shelling in Rafah on Sunday evening.
Hamas had not claimed responsibility for attacks on Israel since June.