Israel said to warn Hamas that attacks from Gaza risk wide-scale military action
Egyptian officials have reportedly sent Hamas a message from Israel that warned the terror group it is playing with fire by instigating a near-constant stream of attacks from Gaza during the Israeli election campaign, Trend reports referring to The Times of Israel.
The warning, reported in the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, comes amid rising tensions along the Israel-Gaza border after balloons carried several explosive devices from Gaza into Israeli towns on Tuesday and Israeli jets launched retaliatory strikes against Hamas posts in the Strip.
An Egyptian delegation traveled to the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to urge Hamas leaders to tamp down the attacks, warning that “creating tensions on the border by launching incendiary balloons will bring the IDF to launch a broad military confrontation in the Strip,” according to Al-Akhbar, which said it was citing a senior Hamas source.
The Egyptians also warned Hamas not to try to “intervene in the elections in Israel or try to influence them.”
Abbas Kamel, the director of Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate, who has served as mediator between Israel and Hamas in the past, is due to visit the Strip in the coming days to up the pressure on Hamas to avoid escalation.
Hamas said in response that it was examining its own options for military escalation in response to the Israeli retaliatory strikes.
The Israel Air Force carried out airstrikes on several targets in the Gaza Strip Tuesday night, after balloons with explosives were flown into Israel earlier in the day.
The Israel Defense Forces said its aircraft hit “a number of terror targets in a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip.”
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the Strip.
The pro-Hamas al-Risala newspaper said an unmanned Israeli aircraft hit a site that belongs to “the Palestinian resistance” in Gaza.