(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are preparing for a possible military operation by Israel, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hints at what he called the "second stage of the last round in the Gaza Strip."
Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders were invited to Cairo to discuss several issues. According to reports from the coastal enclave, a Hamas delegation is scheduled to arrive in Cairo today, while an Islamic Jihad delegation will arrive in the Egyptian capital tomorrow to meet with intelligence chiefs in the country and discuss further understandings of the ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Last week, violence between Gaza and Israel escalated after a botched Israeli operation in the Strip led to an exchange of fire and the death of a senior Israeli officer.
Hamas subsequently fired more than 500 rockets and mortars into Israel
killing one person and wounding dozens of others. Israel in turn struck hundreds of targets in Gaza.
A ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas the next day
led to the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
and a shake-up in Israel's coalition.
Netanyahu is under considerable pressure by his voter base and coalition partners to show a strong hand in dealing with the terror groups. Yasser Okbi/Maariv contributed to this report.
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