Riots along the Gaza border have reignited tensions in southern Israel over the last two weeks.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said on Monday that the IDF will “not hesitate” to enter another round of fighting in Gaza if violence along the border continues.
In a ceremony held on Monday in honor of the arrival of the new INS “Victory” warship to the Israel Navy, Kohavi noted IDF had already begun preparing for another operation when Operation Guardian of the Walls ended in May.
“We have improved and are continuing to improve our capabilities in the Gaza Strip, as well as our operational activities,” said the Chief of Staff.
“If peace isn’t restored in the south we will not hesitate to enter another round,” warned Kohavi. “If it’s needed, I know the navy is prepared to take a central role, as it successfully took in Operation Guardian of the Walls,” Kohavi added.
Kohavi went on to address Palestinians, stating their “reality could be completely different and their quality of life can considerably improve.”
“But that will not happen while terror attacks of any kind continue,” Kohavi noted. “Peace and security will allow for an improvement of civil conditions but disturbances and terror will lead to a sharp response or an operation,” he concluded.
IDF opened fire at Palestinian youths who approached the security fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel near Khan Yunis on Monday, according to Palestinian media.
Gaza Health Ministry reported six Palestinians were injured from live fire, tear gas and shrapnels during border clashes with the IDF on Monday.On Sunday evening, hundreds of Palestinians rioted at the north Gaza-Israel border on Sunday evening, burning tires and throwing explosives, according to the IDF.
Some 18 Palestinians were wounded, none seriously, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Incendiary balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, hours after the IDF struck targets in the Gaza Strip late Monday night.
On Saturday, August 21, hundreds of Gazans armed with various weapons, including explosive devices, marched on the Israel-Gaza perimeter fence and engaged with Israeli security forces.
Border policeman St.-Sgt. Barel Shmueli was critically injured from gunshot wounds inflicted on him by a Palestinian gunman during the Saturday riots.
Shmueli died on Monday, following a week of hospitalization and several surgeries and operations in attempt to save the border policeman’s life.
Security forces used rubber bullets and tear gas during the clashes. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reported that over 41 Palestinians were injured in the engagements.
The IDF has accused Hamas of organizing the riots and has laid responsibility on the Gazan terrorist organization. More riots are reportedly planned by Gaza’s militant groups.