Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited Israel's South on Thursday and met with soldiers serving on the Gaza border.
"We are first and foremost focused on... defeating Hamas," Gallant said. "I have been leading soldiers into battles for 45 years. I am responsible for security. I was responsible for it these last two weeks - even during difficult times, I am responsible for bringing [Israel] to victory."
He later told troops on the Gaza border: "You see Gaza now from afar. Soon, you'll see it from inside."
Gallant further noted that the IDF was gearing up for a long-term engagement with Israel's enemies, saying: "We are not talking about a short [military] campaign – we are talking about a prolonged campaign."
He then touched on the threat of Hezbollah on the Lebanon border. "Hezbollah is trying to challenge the State of Israel and the IDF, and have deployed [forces] in strong defensive formations. The strength of the entire IDF...is at our disposal. We are alert, and if Hezbollah wants to start a war, it should first look at the photographs of Gaza City."
Shortly after these statements came out, a fresh barrage of rockets was launched toward Israel's North. Sirens were sounded in the towns of Even Menachem, Shomera, Abirim, and Fassuta.
Hezbollah sends a message to its enemies
Lebanon's Hezbollah warned its adversaries on Wednesday it was "thousands of times stronger" than before, as its fighters exchanged fire at the border with Israeli forces in violence fueled by the war between Hamas and Israel.
The United States has warned Iran, which backs Hezbollah and the Palestinian group Hamas, against getting involved in the crisis, and deployed two aircraft carriers which it says aim to deter any state or non-state actor seeking to escalate the war.
Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine, in a speech to thousands of supporters, said US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and "malicious Europeans" should be careful.
"The response to the mistake you might make with our resistance will be resounding," he said.
Maya Zanger-Nadis contributed to this report.