Gallant Warns of Possible Heightened Strikes on Gaza Amid Protests

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces near the border between Israel and Gaza, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a firm warning on Wednesday during a commemorative ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. He cautioned that Israel would not hesitate to increase its military operations in Gaza should Israeli citizens or soldiers come under attack.

Gallant emphasized that while Israel does not seek escalation or war, it is fully prepared to use its military capabilities to ensure security and restore peace in the region if necessary. He referenced Operation Shield and Arrow as a testament to Israel’s commitment to maintaining its security.

Presently, the Gaza border area has witnessed ongoing unrest, although there have been no significant incidents involving live ammunition reported recently, which marks a departure from previous days. Two fires in the Eshkol regional council were attributed to incendiary balloons.

Reports from Kan News suggest that Hamas may have orchestrated these border confrontations primarily for financial reasons rather than ideological motives. It is alleged that Hamas has requested increased subsidies from Qatar to cover the salaries of civil servants in Gaza. Additionally, Hamas is seeking an increase in the number of laborers permitted to travel from Gaza to Israel, from the current 17,500 to 20,000.

Gallant also touched on the ongoing negotiations for normalization with Saudi Arabia, viewing them as a “glimmer of optimism” despite the challenges. He noted that Saudi Arabia’s steps toward normalizing relations with Israel, with the support of the United States, have the potential to reshape the regional landscape. This could open opportunities for resolving longstanding conflicts in the Arab-Israeli arena and foster normalization with other Muslim nations.

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