The IDF has put its forces on high alert along the Gaza border as the current five day ceasefire is set to expire at midnight.
The army decided to raise its alertness level on Monday as diplomatic efforts in Cairo are faltering. Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem are said to have warned the IDF that reaching a long-term ceasefire deal before Monday are very slim.
With the current ceasefire coming to a close and an agreement nowhere in sight, Israel is bracing for a resumption of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza. In previous ceasefire agreement, Hamas has opened fire on Israel well before the ceasefire’s ended.
Hamas leaders have stated repeatedly that the terror organization will resume their violent attacks on Israel should the Jewish state not give in to the groups demands.
As talks in Cairo were renewed on Sunday between Israel and the Palestinian delegation, Israel offered a sign of good will to Hamas by unilaterally lifting a ban on fishing in waters off Gaza.
Since July 8, Gaza fisherman have been blocked from their work. As hostilities escalated, Israel limited the usual six mile fishing limit to three.
The Israeli Navy limited Gaza’s oceanic border after several attempts by terrorists to infiltrate Israel by sea were thwarted.
Despite the attempted terror attacks, an Israeli government official told AFP that “as a sign of goodwill, Israel has allowed fishing off the Gaza Strip up to 3 nautical miles.”
On Sunday, with no clear indication on whether the ceasefire would be extended, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a clear warning to Hamas.
“From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: insist on the security needs of the State of Israel,” he said.
“If Hamas thinks it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken. If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken. As long as quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to receive very harsh blows,” the prime minister stated.