The Israeli military may invade the Gaza Strip and topple its Hamas government if rocket fire on Israel continues, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday.
Speaking at an event in Kfar Saba, Steinitz said that though missile attacks have decreased over the past two years, Israel cannot tolerate renewed rocket fire at its territory.
“If the drip of rockets from Gaza continues, we will have no choice but to go inside [Gaza] in order to eliminate Hamas, and allow the Palestinian Authority to regain control of the Gaza Strip,” Steinitz said.
“Israel heavily retaliates to any [rocket] fire, and will continue to do so,” he added.
Steinitz’s comments came following an incident Friday in which two Grad rockets were fired at the southern city of Eilat. The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down at least one of two rockets, which were fired from the Sinai Peninsula.
An al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operates in the Sinai and Gaza, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.
The group said in a statement that the rocket attack was prompted by “the cooperation between Egypt and Israel and the bombing of Gaza residents.”
Israel launched airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip early Friday morning in retaliation for a rocket fired at the southern city of Netivot.
“Nothing will stop us from our objective of fighting you and hurting you,” the Sinai-based terror group said.