Former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin rejected criticism over a lack of deterrence against Hamas on Saturday, insisting that the only reason rockets have not reached Be'er Sheva and Tel Aviv is due to the threat of IAF retaliation.
"It is not true that there is no deterrence," Yadlin stated. "Hamas can fire hundreds of rockets at Tel Aviv and Beersheba, and does not actually do so."
Despite this, Yadlin admitted that another operation in Gaza is likely on the horizon.
"I have no doubt we are looking at another round with Hamas," admitted Yadlin. "It will be very difficult."
"Hamas will be battered but Israel will pay the price," he predicted, adding that Israel is likely to suffer economic damage and several casualties.
"We will go into action when Hamas crosses the line, and the next round will be significant and will combine air and ground campaigns," he added.
Yadlin also stated that while a conflict with Hamas is likely imminent, retaking Gaza - formerly known as Gush Katif, from which Israel withdrew in 2005 - is not advisable.
"I'm not one of those who think that we need to retake Gaza [for rocket fire to stop]," he said, adding that an operation "will take about two weeks and have Hamas begging for a ceasefire from the beginning."
Rockets indeed reached Be'er Sheva hours later Saturday, with one being shot down by the Iron Dome and another landing in an empty field.