Iron Dome missile defense
Iron Dome missile defense Gili Yaari /Flash 90

The IDF is increasing its presence in southern Israel Friday and preparing for a new round of fighting with terrorists operating out of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, after Hamas warned Israel it is prepared for an expanded conflict.

Israeli aircraft struck multiple Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip Friday morning, after seven rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory Thursday night.

In addition, dozens of fires broke out in Israeli territory near the border with Gaza Thursday, after terrorists operating in the Gaza Strip launched a number of incendiary devices attached to balloons.

Following the latest round of fighting, Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Hamas terror group said Friday morning that Hamas “would not hesitate to battle the Zionist enemy if the escalation continues”.

Israel, Barhoum continued, needs to understand that if the attacks continue to destroy our positions, [Israel] will bear the cost and will pay a heavy price.”

Channel 13 cited Palestinian Arab sources which claimed that the rockets fired Thursday night were launched after Egypt warned Hamas against further escalations, and were intended to signal Hamas’ willingness to expand the conflict.

Following the string of rocket attacks Thursday, the IDF is gearing up for additional attacks, and advised farmers near the Gaza frontier not to work their fields Friday.

According to a report by Israel Hayom Friday morning, Hamas is demanding Israel expand the fishing area allotted to Gaza fishing boats, and to allow an expansion of the payments allowed into the Strip from Qatar from $30 million to $40 million per month.