Israel has shut border crossings into Gaza in response to Palestinian protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The closure was also prompted by rocket fired from Gaza against Israel.
An Israeli military spokesman said: “Hamas has lost a lot of its property and assets due to repeated Israeli strikes and it knows that it will pay the price should it continue to launch rockets.”
Israeli residents living near Gaza have called on authorities to respond with force to the Hamas shelling, but the military and intelligence have refused to wage a new war on the coastal strip at the moment.
They therefore resorted to imposing economic measures against the Palestinians by closing the Karam Abou Saelm and Beit Hanoun crossings “until the rocket fire ceases.”
This has not however deterred Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman from threatening to wage a fierce war against Gaza.
He said during a field visit in southern Israel that the escalation in Gaza was not linked to Israel, but to disputes between the various Palestinian factions.
The army has been ordered to stay on alert to confront any development or launch a military offensive in the area, said Lieberman.
He hoped that Gazans would exert enough pressure on their leaderships to improve the economic situation in the coastal strip and not dig tunnels and manufacture rockets to fire at Israel.
“We know what should be done, how to do it and when to do it,” he stressed.