Israel is bolstering security after new clashes between its forces and Hamas.
Additional Iron Dome missile defense batteries will be deployed in southern Israel and around Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces said, according to the Times of Israel. The military is also calling up more reservists.
“The IDF is determined to continue to defend citizens of Israel and is prepared for a variety of scenarios that may intensify,” the army said in a statement, according to the newspaper.
On Saturday, Hamas sent more than 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, The Guardian reported. Israel then responded with airstrikes on areas of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
“The Israeli army delivered its most painful strike against Hamas since the 2014 war and we will increase the strength of our attacks as much as necessary,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, according to The Guardian.
“Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday. I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel.
Israel is under attack again.
Evil Hamas fired hundreds of rockets and mortars from Gaza.
Most of the West is silent.
I am not.
I support Israel 100%!!
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) July 15, 2018
“Our message to Hamas is that we can and will enhance the intensity of our effort if needed,” IDF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told The Guardian. “What Hamas is doing is pushing them ever closer to the edge of the abyss.”
He said the air attacks hit 40 Hamas targets. Conricus noted that in addition to the rocket attacks, Hamas has continually launched incendiary kites and balloons to damage Israeli farms.
As of Sunday, a cease-fire reached late Saturday appeared to be holding, news reports stated, as Israeli officials lifted restrictions on communities near the border with Gaza.
Israeli officials said they will not allow Hamas to attack Israel without paying a price.
“I heard it being said that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire that would allow the continuation of terrorism by incendiary kites and balloons. This is incorrect,” Netanyahu said, according to CNN. “We are not prepared to accept any attacks against us and we will respond appropriately.”
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed that message.
“We have no intention of tolerating rockets, kites, drones or anything,” Lieberman said, according to Fox News. “I hope that Hamas will draw conclusions and if not, they will have to pay a heavy price.”
According to the Times of Israel, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas will avenge the two teenagers killed in the Israeli attack.
U.N. Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov, however, tried to scale back the escalating situation.
“Yesterday we were on the brink of war, and it has taken the concerted efforts of everyone to make sure that we step back from confrontation,” Mladenov told reporters at a news conference, according to CNN. “Everybody needs to take a step back.”
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