Israel on Friday suspended fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip, after fresh protests along the border that saw seven Palestinians killed by Israeli troops.
Attempts to quell the months-long uptick in violence along the Gaza Strip border appeared more elusive than ever Wednesday as Israeli military jets pounded targets in the Palestinian enclave in response to rocket fire by militants that ripped through a home in the Israeli city of Beersheba.
"Hamas' overall objective is to take the IDF by surprise by blowing up the fence at several points and infiltrating into Israeli territory to harm IDF soldiers or abduct them and take them into the Gaza Strip", according to the JCPA.
Palestinian protestors place their national flag on a metal structure during a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, on October 8, 2018. "It's not hard to narrow down who's behind it".
He said retaliatory strikes had hit 20 targets, including a Hamas attack tunnel and an "advanced weapons manufacturing site".
Lieberman's comments followed calls by far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett for a harsh response against any Palestinians who cross the Israeli fence surrounding Gaza during regular protests on the boundary.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, who cut short a trip to the United States due to the fresh violence in Gaza, went directly to the security cabinet session after landing in Israel, Hadashot TV news reported.
The military said another rocket from Gaza landed in the sea, just off the coast of one of the larger cities in central Israel. "That's the only way to lower the level of violence to zero, or close to zero".
"We tried all options", he added.
Amid the spike in hostilities, a delegation led by Egyptian Intelligence Director Abbas Kamel that had been scheduled to arrive in Gaza on Thursday morning postponed the trip.
It comes a day after Israel's defence minister said the time had come to deliver a "heavy blow" to Hamas after weeks of escalation violence along the border.
Since protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 205 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave. The blockade has restricted Hamas' ability to govern and made life extremely hard for Gaza's 2 million residents.
A Hamas soldier prays amid the rubble of a destroyed military base after Israeli airstrikes October 17 in the town of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.
Egypt, along with the United Nations, are now working to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah as well as a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Gaza militants. It has accused Hamas of using the mass protests as a cover to infiltrate into Israel and carry out attacks.
Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told his ministers on Sunday that if Hamas doesn't come to its senses "they will be stopped in a different way".