After a 5,5-hour meeting on October 17, the Israeli security cabinet adopted a new policy, under which the Israeli military will step up its response to any attacks from the Palestinian Gaza Strip. According to the Times of Israel, the new policy, that will change the “rules of the game,” will be implemented starting on October 19.
During the long meeting, Israeli’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman pushed for a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip to deter the Hamas Movement. However, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, wanted a more flexible approach and he was able to pass it with support from the military.
“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 … We will no longer accept the arson terror and the fence terror,” the Israeli Arutz Sheva quoted Yoav Galant, a minister and a member of the security cabinet, as saying.
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which is a military wing of the Hamas Movement, responded to Israel’s new policy by releasing a short video message entitled “Don’t Dear To Misjudge.” The message shows al-Qassam fighters loading heavy rockets into a launcher in an apparent threat to Israel.
The Gaza Strip will likely witness a dangerous escalation in the upcoming few days, as Palestinian activists are planning to hold new protest on October 19. Israel will likely respond violently to any incident, which may occur during the protest. In the worst case scenario, it can trigger an open military confrontation of Israel with the Hamas Movement.