Chief of the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, met with mayors of the Gaza border region Sunday night, telling them the IDF will not launch a new operation for sporadic rockets landing in open areas, Ynet reported. He stressed, however, that the military would respond to such attacks as required, mostly in the form of air strikes like those which were launched Sunday morning.
Turgeman credited Hamas for its efforts to contain rogue elements firing on Israel in recent weeks in an effort to expand the conflict. Salafist groups loyal to the Islamic State (ISIS) have taken credit for the last three rocket attacks.
The general also noted the IDF was investing in increasing its defensive capabilities against both rockets and underground terror tunnels.
The mayors responded with understanding, acknowledging the situation in the region is complicated. They expressed their trust in the IDF to deal appropriately with any escalation.
Sdot Negev Regional Council head Tamir Idan asked Turgeman after the meeting to consider changing the current “code red” alarm to a verbal announcement in an effort to ease the shock of the sirens. According to Idan, Turgeman agreed to consider the option.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon reopened the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings after closing them Sunday in response to Saturday night’s rocket fire.