Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu invoked King David in a statement Tuesday evening – signaling that he is serious about ordering an intensification of the attack on the terrorists of Gaza.
"Our hand is outstretched in peace to those of our neighbors who want to make peace with us," Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office, "and the other hand is firmly grasping the sword of David against those who wish to uproot us from this country."
This is not the first time Netanyahu has invoked King David in a statement to the world. The last time was in his pivotal "red line" speech at the UN General Assembly in September, in which he warned against letting Iran achieve nuclear weapon capability.
About two hours after a rocket fired from Gaza crashed south of Jerusalem, causing no injuries, Netanyahu said that constant pounding by the Israeli air force had exerted a heavy toll on the Hamas arsenal.
"We have already destroyed thousands of rockets and missiles aimed at Israeli citizens, including most of the long-range rockets," he said. "We continue to attack Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the rest of the terror groups."
He later met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.
AFP reported that Israeli ministers earlier decided to hold off from launching a ground incursion into Gaza to give Egyptian-led truce efforts a chance to work, according to a senior Israeli official.
"A decision was taken that for the time being there is a temporary hold on the ground incursion to give diplomacy a chance to succeed," the official said after an overnight meeting of Netanyahu's key ministers, the Forum of Nine.
"They discussed both the state of the diplomacy and the military operation," he said on condition of anonymity.