The IDF will not show restraint against protesters on the Gaza border, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun said in an Arabic-language video released on Thursday evening.
The video was directed at those Gazans who might be planning to participate in another weekly round of violence labeled as “The Great March of Return.”
“The IDF will not show restraint,” Abu Rukun cautioned. “Whoever comes within 100 meters of the [security] fence is putting himself at risk. You’ve been warned,” he added.
The warning came amid anger from Israelis over a ceasefire agreement with Hamas earlier this week that followed 48 hours of clashes that saw terrorist factions in Gaza fire over 460 rockets at Israeli civilians, killing one person, and injuring nearly 100 others — including at least who were critically wounded.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman officially submitted his resignation earlier Thursday over the ceasefire agreement.
The crisis is threatening to topple Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, which now sits on a razor-thin 61 seat majority in the 120 member Knesset.
Hundreds of residents of Israel’s Gaza Belt towns in the south protested the ceasefire agreement outside of IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, blocking roads and holding up signs that read, “We are not second class citizens.”
The protests took place as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Gaza Belt municipal authority heads in order to clarify his position following the public criticism voiced at Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who earlier on Thursday said that rockets fired at the Gaza Belt are not just cause for a full-scale military operation in Gaza.
“There is a difference between the Gaza Belt Region and Tel Aviv, which is the economic capital of Israel. . . the Hamas attack was minor because shooting on Tel Aviv has different implications,” he said.
Hanegbi said the prime minister and the defense establishment agree that to “stop the violence with Gaza” there is a need to try and reach a long-term understanding, not to enter a war that would cost hundreds of dead soldiers.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian intelligence delegation met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem before setting out for Gaza to meet with Hamas officials in order to discuss the recent ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian Authority media reported.
TPS and Yona Schnitzer contributed content to this report.