IDF soldiers (archive)
IDF soldiers (archive) IDF spokesperson

Israel has warned the Gaza-based Hamas terror organization that it will face a major military operation if it pursues an escalation on the Israel-Gaza frontier, senior Arab officials claimed in a report Monday.

According to the report, which was published by the Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar newspaper, Israel recently sent a message to Hamas, via Egyptian intermediaries, that the terror group must maintain the quiet on the Israel-Gaza border, or face a major Israeli military operation with US backing.

A delegation of Egyptian intelligence officials working as go-betweens for Israel and Hamas delivered the message to Gaza on Sunday, the report claimed.

In particular, Hamas was warned that its continued support for the launching of balloon bombs from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory would not be tolerated.

If Hamas fails to heed the warning, the Egyptian officials reportedly said, Israel would “deal a major blow to Hamas with international and American support.”

Hamas officials responded by saying that the group “does not seek to escalate”, while adding that “economic pressure facing Gazans…will lead to more pressure in the border area.”