As Hamas continues its campaign of arson terror against Israel, Liberman warned that Israel is on the brink of a full-fledged war.
Gaza-based terrorists continued their campaign of arson terrorism against the Jewish state and launched dozens of balloons laden with flammable materials and explosive charges toward Israel on Tuesday, reaching areas as far north as the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
A fire broke out in the forest near the community of Gvaram, probably ignited by an arson balloon.
At least five fires inside Israel were ignited by Hamas’ arson terrorism on Monday, while the Hamas-led violent riots on Israel’s border continued. Thousands of rioters arrived at the Zikim beach area, burning tires and throwing bombs, grenades and Molotov cocktails at IDF forces. No soldiers were injured in the incident
In the afternoon, a Palestinian attempting to infiltrate Israel from Gaza was caught by Israeli forces. A knife was found by the troops at the point of infiltration.
Israel: On the Way to War?
In the meantime, Defense Minister Aigdor Liberman warned that Israel has “exhausted all options” in an attempt to seek quiet in the area, and “only the most powerful blow [to] Hamas will help.”
Addressing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, Liberman said that the riots on Israel’s border with Gaza are “no popular protests,” as Hamas has attempted to depict them, but rather well organized violent incidents.
“Fifteen thousand people do not come of their own accord to the [border] fence alone, by foot. They come in organized shuttles, with Hamas paying thousands of shekels for every bus. They pay $3,000 for every man killed, $500 for every severe injury and $200 for every medium injury and below. This is institutionalized, organized action,” he charged.
Saying that the “residents of Gaza, are, in essence, hostages of Hamas,” he explained that “it must be understood that there is a direct correlation between violence and economic activity. Quiet and calm bring benefits and economic advantages. When there is violence, harm will come to the economy, livelihood and employment. There is a violence regulator operated by Hamas, and a regulator I call Kerem Shalom [border crossing], and we use it simultaneously.”
Commenting on the prospects of a ceasefire with Hamas, Liberman stated that “when we talk about an arrangement, and I’m expressing my opinion here – I do not believe in any arrangement with Hamas. It does not work, it has not worked in the past, it will not work in the future.”
Israel has “reached a situation of no choice. Anything other than dealing the most severe blow – the heaviest we can – on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, will not help. We are truly in a situation of no choice,” Liberman asserted.
“My position is very clear. I think that we have reached a point where decisions must be made. We have exhausted all options,” he concluded.