IDF soldiers (illustrative)
IDF soldiers (illustrative)Israel news photo: Flash 90

After Hamas and Islamic Jihad co-signed a statement taking responsibility for the 55-rocket barrage fired into southern Israel over the Simchat Torah holiday, a senior IDF source said Israel has no choice but to launch a wide-scale military operation against Gaza.

The source told Maariv/NRG that the operation would include a large-scale ground incursion, not unlike the one undertaken in Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009.

The joint statement by Islamic Jihad and Hamas regarding the rocket barrage is a rare occurrence, since the two terror organizations are considered to be hostile to each other, ever since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007.

A spokesman for Hamas's "Kassam Brigades" said that the statement is "a sign of top level coordination between the factions in the face of the Israeli occupation."