A new report says that Egypt had ordered Hamas to defuse the weekly riots on the Gaza border in order to avoid an escalation with Israel.
According to Lebanon's Al Akhbar, Egypt told Hamas to keep rioters at least 500 meters from the border fence and to prevent them from tangling with Israeli soldiers. Egypt also told the terror group that the UN humanitarian projects be given a chance to succeed.
The “March of the Return” border riots have been ongoing every Friday since March 30, but in recent weeks have become more frequent. The violent demonstrations often deteriorate into full-scale riots, with demonstrators throwing grenades at IDF soldiers and burning tires.
Tensions between Israel and Hamas have escalated recently after rockets were fired into Israeli territory on Tuesday. One of them, launched towards the sea, fell off the coast of Gush Dan. Another rocket hit a residential building in Beer Sheva. The family members, who suffered from anxiety, were saved a few moments after the mother rushed her children with her into a bomb shelter.
Israel's security cabinet stressed on Thursday that it would decide whether to embark on a military operation in Gaza after viewing the Friday border riots. The cabinet also increased the army's scope of action in response to violent demonstrations near the fence in Gaza and also authorized more severe action against those who launch terror balloons.
Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) warned on Thursday that Israel would begin to respond more forcefully to Hamas' provocations.
"I will not refer to the content of the cabinet discussions, but I can say one thing very explicitly - the rules of the game are about to change," Galant said.
"We will no longer accept the arson terror and the fence terror,"