The coming 24 hours will show whether Hamas in Gaza has understood Israel's message that rocket fire on the South must end, a senior security source said Thursday, as projectiles continued to rain down on southern towns, and trigger air raid sirens.
"We'll see what the bottom line is... whether Hamas understands our message... within 24 hours, and then we'll weigh our steps," the source said.
Israel boosts troops along gaza border
Hamas is not behind all of the recent rocket attacks on Israel, but compared to the past, the IDF is seeing a growing Hamas role in projectile fire, the source added.
He spoke after 18 Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza slammed into southern Israel on Thursday, damaging homes in Sderot. The most recent rocket attack, in the afternoon, targeted the town of Ofakim, and one rocket fell in an open area near the town.
At the moment, "Our main mission is to transmit the message that quiet will be met with quiet," the source added. Meanwhile, the IDF has deployed limited forces to the Gaza border region as part of a series of defensive measures, and to increase military preparedness in case Hamas does not respond to Israel's call for quiet.
"We are taking steps [so that we are ready] in case Hamas chooses one solution, or another," the source stated. To that end, the IDF is building up what the source described as "defensive efforts" against rocket attacks and cross-border terrorist infiltrations.
The deployment of IDF units toward Gaza is "only linked to this," he said. "Our job is to prepare for all eventualities that might arise," the source added, and stressed that "there is no call-up of reserves" or a large-scale military buildup under way.