Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly announced on Sunday morning a plan to increase air strikes on targets in Gaza, following a meeting with his cabinet.
Additionally, the PM announced he will be deploying more infantry troops and artillery to the southern border between Israel and Gaza.
The announcement followed a meeting with top-level Israeli cabinet officials.
An unnamed Israeli official told channel 7 news that the meeting was held to discuss a course of action following Sarurday’s exchange of rocket fire between Israel and the Gaza Strip after the Israeli military killed two Palestinian civilians Friday in a peaceful demonstration along the border.
Sunday’s meeting of the Israeli cabinet was the first such meeting in over two months.
For the past several months, according to Israeli media sources, Hamas officials and ministers from the Israeli government have joined in peace talks under an Egyptian-brokered delegation but the negotiations have so far been unsuccessful in achieving a long-term settlement.
Hamas officials had agreed several weeks ago to curb the non-violent weekly protests each Friday in exchange for concessions from Israel, but so far the concessions have not been carried out, according to Palestinian officials. Instead, the non-violent protests have continued.
Thirty nine Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the past two months — most of them shot by Israeli snipers firing at non-violent protests on the Gaza-Israel border each Friday. Two Israelis were killed in the same time period.