DM to Hamas: Don't escalate the situation

Defense Minister Liberman warns Hamas not to escalate situation, MK Yogev says it's 'time to respond' to Hamas.

Kobi Finkler ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hillel Meir/ TPS

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Friday morning warned Hamas not to escalate the situation in Gaza.

"We've had a month of holidays, exactly as we planned, with no explosions," Liberman tweeted. "We extracted a heavy price from the Gaza rioters. And now we're back to routine."

"I warn Hamas leaders. Take it into account. And I thank the IDF soldiers."

The IDF's Southern Command is preparing for the weekly Gaza riots, and has brought in reinforcements as well as an Iron Dome battery.

"We have no intelligence on terror attacks, and this has nothing to do with [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar's interview," an IDF source said. "We are working based on security needs. The reinforcement of our forces in the south is a need which stems from lessons learned in recent days, when there were over 20,000 rioters participating in violent demonstrations."

The source also said that considering the fact that the riots are violent and over 100 explosives and grenades were thrown at IDF forces last week, the IDF is not taking chances and has reinforced its forces on the Gaza border.

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home), who serves as a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called on the defense system to stop accepting Hamas terror.

"We don't want war, but it's time to respond," he said. "It's been over half a year of the IDF accepting - for various reasons - terror activities. This acceptance has dragged our soldiers into a dangerous escalation which endangers their lives and harms the security of the south and the rest of Israel."

"We are obligated to defend our southern border. It's time to respond, deter, and return security to residents of the Gaza border area."