Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, Sunday evening, "As far as Israel is concerned, Hamas is responsible for the [missile] fire and attempts to harm soldiers and civilians, even if others are involved. And it (Hamas) is the one that will pay the principle price. And the price will be severe and painful." Speaking at an international homeland security conference, he said the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are examining the possibilities of strengthening their reactions to Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza. He added that while the Iron Dome missile-defense system had changed the fundamental defense for civilians, work has to be done quickly to increase protection to Gaza-area communities from a 4.5-kilometer belt to seven kilometers.
Regarding the situation on the Syrian border, where Israel fired a warning shot in response to the landing of Syrian mortar shells on the Golan Heights, Barak said, "Syria has been in a brutal civil war for more than a year and the IDF has been instructed to prevent the sliding of the battles into our territory. Additional fire on Israeli territory will draw a heavier response from Israel and exact a price from Syria."