Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visited the northern Gaza border region on Saturday and met with military forces operating in the sector. Gantz spoke with infantry and tank unit commanders and examined preparations underway for a possible escalation.

Gantz was accompanied by OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgermeran, as well as the commanders of the Planning Branch and C4i Branch.

Gantz said Hamas bears responsibility for ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, and the the IDF is prepared to provide any necessary response to ensure that southern residents can lead routine lives.

"We'll know how to respond with much power if quiet isn't returned to the area," Gantz said.

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