Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday hinted that Israel would need to use military options to solve the situation in the Gaza Strip. Speaking during a meeting with her Austrian counterpart, Michael Spindelegger, Livni said, "Every [rocket] fired from Gaza requires us to respond in order to protect civilians." "If Hamas continues to encourage terror in Gaza, Israel will use [all] means at its disposal" to respond, she said, adding that the Israeli "government is responsible for its citizens." "We will not be able to leave Gaza in Hamas control." Livni spoke after senior Hamas officials in Syria announced that the Gaza cease-fire with Israel, set to expire on December 19, would not be extended. Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was quoted on Sunday afternoon by a Hamas television station in Damascus as saying, "There will be no renewal of the 'calm' after it expires." Following Mashaal's announcement, senior officials in Jerusalem told Army Radio that both the IDF and the government were well prepared to deal with any decision reached by the terror group. "We have used the 'calm' period to prepare and we have many surprises," the officials said.