The Israeli army is preparing to invade the Gaza Strip and conduct a large scale military operation as Israeli Minister of Defense Amir Peretz said Israelis will toughen their response to the firing of homemade shells.

Peretz met with senior military officials, including the Israeli army chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, and was briefed on what was described as “game plans to retaliate to the firing of homemade shells”, Israeli Ynetnews reported.

Israeli sources reported that Peretz rejected the army plan to attack the Gaza Strip in a large scale military assault but did not nix the proposal, saying that “Israel will have specific retaliations,” and will intensify the offensive against Hamas immediately.

The military plan goal is to assassinate fighters of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and the launchers of homemade shells at Israeli settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Peretz ordered the army to continue its attacks against the “launchers and manufactures” of the homemade shells, the Ynetnews added.

The army claimed that Hamas fighters fired dozens of homemade shells at the Western Negev over the last two days. 26 homemade shells were fired at the Western Negev on Sunday morning, army source added.

Peretz also claimed that he order a halt to the military shelling, including air strikes, in the Gaza Strip until the army concludes its claimed investigation into the attack that killed seven members of the same family, including children, and three other residents vacationing on Gaza beach on Friday evening.