Israeli Army Prepares to End Gaza Fighting Amid Jewish-Arab Violence

Defense officials say a growing threat of unrest across Israel might mean political leadership will soon order them to end confrontation with Hamas

Yaniv Kubovich
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Israeli soldiers fire toward the Gaza Strip from their position near Sderot, today.
Israeli soldiers fire toward the Gaza Strip from their position near Sderot, today.Credit: Menahem KAHANA / AFP
Yaniv Kubovich

The Israeli military is preparing for an order to end Gaza cross-border fighting as soon as possible, citing the threat of Jewish-Arab clashes across the country spiraling out of control.

Awaiting the government's orders, the military is preparing to ramp up the strikes on the Gaza Strip in order to bring the round of violence, which began on Monday and escalated throughout the week, to an end.

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In recent discussions by Israel's top defense officials, they assessed the violence in Lod, Bat Yam, Acre and other cities pose a security threat that is no less grave than the Gaza fighting. 

So far, Israel has turned down several offers for cease-fire mediations, but sources say the violence inside Israel may force Israel to reconsider.

Defense officials said that Hamas' military and political infrastructure has been dealt a heavy blow since hostilities began, and that Israel's deterrence has been largely restored.

However, the army plans to intensify the strikes in the coming days in order to deny Hamas the ability to quickly restore its capabilities. This would be a calculated risk, since ramping up the strikes on Gaza could lead to further escalation.

The army is also wary of toppling Hamas, reflecting a concern among Israeli decision-makers over a power vacuum in Gaza that could lead to chaos.

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