(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Former Shin Bet chief and Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri said in a statement on Saturday that in addition to operational activities against Hamas terror tunnels, Israel would do good for itself if it worked towards alleviating the economic crisis in Gaza.
"Hamas is not interested at this point in time in another confrontation with Israel," Peri said in a statement. "They are afraid of losing what they consider to be their most strategic weapon, the tunnels, and l by firing mortars to they are expressing this concern."
Peri pointed to the economic destitution in Gaza as a key reason Hamas does not want to enter into another conflict with Israel.
"Israel would be wise if in addition to continuing operational activities against the tunnels, it worked to alleviate the economic situation and open avenues which would allow the residents of Gaza an easier and more comfortable future."
Peri also said that following Operation Protective Edge, it was the responsibility of the Israeli government and its leader to work towards achieving these goals immediately and towards securing a more comfortable future for the people of Gaza.
Peri's statement was made in response to the discovery of a Hamas tunnel into Israel on Thursday.
The IDF uncovered the tunnel stretching from southern Gaza into Israel. Hamas persisted in cross-border mortar attacks, sparking Israeli retaliatory strikes, as the security situation threatened to escalate further.
Throughout the day on Thursday, Hamas fired mortars at IDF positions on four occasions, as it did on Wednesday, prompting tank and IAF air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza. Palestinian sources said a woman was killed in one of the tank shell strikes on Thursday.
On Thursday afternoon, the IAF launched its third wave of air strikes on Hamas targets in the space of 12 hours, in response to mortar fire.
Two earlier waves of air strikes targeted Hamas targets in the early hours of the morning.