Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the "exchange of blows" with Hamas was not over. Speaking during a visit to the southern city of Sderot, the prime minister said "It does not end with a single blow."
This was Netanyahu’s first visit to an Israeli community near the Gaza border since the beginning of airborne firebombs started being launched toward Israel. During the visit, Netanyahu referred to reports about a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. "There is no such thing as a cease-fire for us that excludes the flaming kites and the balloons."
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"For a hundred years we have been fighting terrorism, fighting it with force. In this place at the moment, this is the line of friction between Islamic terror and the Jewish state, and we are determined to win. It involves an exchange of blows, it’s not over yet," Netanyahu said.
The security cabinet instructed the Israeli military to continue attacking balloon and kite launchers, while the military also deployed Iron Dome systems in the Tel Aviv area and other areas in the south of the country.
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In the meantime, a cease-fire has been reached between Israel and Hamas in light of agreements between the parties mediated by the international community, after some 190 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern communities over the weekend. Despite the cease-fire, the miltiary carried out three attacks against kite and balloon launchers on Sunday.
The Egyptians pressured Hamas to hold the fire, claiming that the continuation of the fire could lead to a more severe Israeli response and to an overall escalation. Alongside the cessation of rocket fire, Israel also demanded that Hamas halt the flare-up of balloons and firebombs, but it is not clear whether the organization acceded to this demand.