Liberman Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash9

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday that Israel is ready for a severe confrontation in Gaza if necessary.

"Israel does not have the luxury of conducting wars of choice, and we have exhausted all the existing options," Liberman said in an interview with Kan Bet.

He warned Hamas not to continue to provoke Israel. "Let there be no illusions for Hamas' leaders, we are ready to deal the hardest blow."

Earlier, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also threatened that if Hamas would suffer a "very painful" response if the terror organization does not cease the violence along the Gaza border.

"Hamas has apparently not understood the message: If they do not stop the attacks, they will be stopped in another way and it will be painful, very painful," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

The prime minister added, "We are very close to activity of a different kind that will include very strong blows. If Hamas has any sense, it will stop the fire and the violent riots now."

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