Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman at a military exercise, Aug 21, 2018.
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI / DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Hamas issued a message to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday afternoon, commenting that "his threats won't stand a chance against the Palestinians' willpower to lift the blockade", Channel 2 reported.
"Liberman's threats are empty and will not harm the the resilience of the Palestinian people," Hamas was quoted as saying. "The March of Return will only get stronger; it is not affected by threats."
The remarks came in response to a Tweet published by the Defense Minister on Friday morning, warning Hamas not to escalate riots along the Gaza border.
"We passed the month of Tishrei exactly as we had planned, without a conflagration of violence from the rioters on the Gaza border. 'After the holidays,' has arrived. And I tell Hamas leaders: 'Take this into account.' Thank you to the IDF soldiers," he wrote on the social platform.
Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev, also on Twitter, echoed Liberman.
"We are not pawns in a game of war, but it is time to react! For more than half a year, the IDF has, for various reasons, accepted terror activity, the escalation that threatens the life of our soldiers, the erosion of the commitment to defend our borders in the south and the injury to the security of our residents in the south. Time has come for a response, deterrence and the restoration of security to the Gaza perimeter," he wrote.
Regular riots have taken place along the Gaza border every Friday for the past seven months.
Close to 190 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since March 30, when the Gaza border protests
calling for an end to the 12-year Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip began.
In an interview with Yediot Aharonot
and La Repubblica
, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar denied that the group was gearing up for another conflict with Israel, but warned of war if the group is attacked.
“A new war is in no one’s interest, certainly not our interest. Who really wants to confront a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War doesn’t achieve anything,” he said.
In response, the IDF announced on Thursday that it will significantly reinforce troops in southern Israel
to prevent terrorist infiltration from the Gaza Strip.
The decision to send reinforcements, including snipers as well as infantry and armored forces, was made following a situational assessment by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot along with senior IDF and Shin Bet officials.
In addition to the reinforcements, the IDF has reportedly deployed the Iron Dome missile defense system over concerns of mortar and rocket fire from the blockaded coastal enclave.Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>