"That's the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero", Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman as saying on Tuesday, after Israeli forces shot at a group of Palestinians allegedly trying to send incendiary balloons into Israeli neighbourhoods near Gaza that morning. A war would be "devastating for the people of Gaza and for the Israelis who live across the border", he said.
The rocket fire comes after months of violent Palestinian protests on the Gaza border, sparking deadly gunfire from Israeli troops and fears of an all-out conflict between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars since 2008.
Meanwhile, an Islamic Jihad leader, Khader Habib, told CNN that the militant group remains committed to the truce between Gaza and Israel but added that if strikes continue in Gaza that "the resistance will certainly not stand idly by".
Israel, in keeping with its long-standing approach to Gaza, said it held Hamas responsible.
In response to the rocket attack, the Israel Defense Forces said Israeli planes struck more than 20 Hamas terror targets, including a tunnel that infiltrated Israel and a factory used to manufacture components to build tunnels.
Hamas has organised months of often-violent border protests, with at least 205 Palestinians and one Israeli killed since March 30.
"We must deliver a serious blow to Hamas, and this is the only option to return the situation to its previous level and to reduce the level of violence to zero or almost to zero".
Lieberman responded by pointing out how many Palestinians had been killed or injured during the protests compared to the lack of casualties on the Israeli side.
The IDF later said the infiltration attempt was meant to kidnap a number of IDF soldiers after which Hamas would demand a complete removal of the embargo on goods it uses to produce weapons, missiles and terror tunnels.
It had seen thousands of litres brought into the fuel-starved Gaza strip.
Additionally, an investigation by the IDF found that Palestinian protesters had "detonated a large explosive device" near a border fence.
Israel has drawn global condemnation for its use of deadly force, but says it is protecting its borders and civilian population. They took cover in their shelter during the attack.
Earlier, Conricus told CBN News that Hamas is trying to involve the global community by getting Israel to kill Palestinians.
Hamas clearly misinterpreted Israel's willingness to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and apparently thought it was the beginning of Israel's capitulation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a similar warning on Sunday, accusing Hamas of not stopping attacks against Israelis.
Palestinian protestors and paramedics carry a wounded man during a demonstration on the beach near the maritime border with Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, on October 8, 2018.