The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are considering the possibility of a full-scale military confrontation in Gaza, The Times of Israel reported, citing an anonymous IDF officer. According to the source, Tel Aviv wants to achieve the same result as it did in Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
"We are rapidly nearing a confrontation. Hamas is making serious mistakes, and we may have to make it clear after four years that this path doesn't yield any results for it and isn't worth it," the source said.
The IDF officer expressed confidence in the success of a possible future military operation, citing the greater "capabilities" of the Israeli armed forces. The source said that Israel would continue its strikes, as they "deeply affect" Hamas
Last night, Israel conducted air raids on 140 "Hamas targets" in the Gaza Strip. Hamas claims that the airstrikes took the lives of a pregnant 23-year-old woman and her daughter. The air raids came in response to Hamas launching around 150 rockets at Israel, injuring seven people. The Israeli military reported that 25 of the rockets had been intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while most of the remaining missiles missed populated areas.
The tensions along the Gaza border began on March 30, when the Palestinians organized the so called "Great March of Return" — a series of demonstrations against the "Israeli occupation." The consequent clashes resulted in around 100 Palestinians killed, with many more injured. The IDF claimed that the demonstration was organized by Hamas in order to infiltrate Israeli territory and conduct attacks against its citizens.
Israel and Hamas are sworn adversaries, as Tel Aviv considers the Palestinian movement, which opposes the Israeli state's right to exist, a terrorist organization. The last major confrontation between the two took place in 2014, when the IDF launched a major military operation in Gaza after an intensification of missile barrages being fired from its territory against Israel.