JERUSALEM — Israeli political and military leaders issued dire warnings Thursday to Hamas that it soon would move against the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip unless renewed rocket and mortar fire against southern Israeli towns is halted. A surge in airborne attacks from Gaza has followed the termination of a six-month truce and is fueling speculation that Israel might try to topple Hamas.
"We will not accept this situation," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday. "Whoever harms the citizens and soldiers of Israel will pay a heavy price."
Despite concerns that an invasion of Gaza would be complicated, bloody and risky, Israeli leaders maintain that all options are under consideration.