Hamas has no intention of caving in to Israel and allowing the Jewish state to “impose conditions on the Palestinian people”, its spokesman said on Monday evening.
Directly addressing Israeli citizens, the spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, “Our people will not give in to your crimes. You will pay a heavy and painful price.”
He continued by saying that the rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel were a natural response to the “Israeli aggression.”
"Your threats do not frighten us and we will respond to all the crimes you have committed if you do not stop your actions," said Abu Zuhri, who added, "Israel must understand that message and internalize it."
The comments come in the wake of yet another escalation in the rocket fire from Gaza. As of 10:30 p.m., the number of rockets that were fired towards Israel stood at over 80, including over 30 rockets that were fired in a ten-minute period between 8:00 p.m. and 8:10 p.m.
Shortly before midnight, the Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted a rocket that had been fired towards the city of Sderot.
The barrage follows the Security Cabinet decision to prepare for escalation in the South, including a possible military campaign.
At least 1,500 reserve soldiers had been called up for preparatory training for a possible operation, security officials stated earlier Monday. Hours earlier, photos surfaced showing tanks and IDF forces gathering close to the Gaza border.