"We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which will be varied and different, to renew our deterrence, if we are called on to restore full quiet to the communities [in the south]," said the head of the division's Southern Brigade, Brig. Gen. Tal Hermoni.
"But I wouldn't eulogize Operation Cast Lead just yet," Hermoni added, in a briefing for military reporters. "On a daily basis, it's pretty quiet here. The mild response [to Tuesday's targeted killings] is evidence that they don't want to feel the IDF's fists."
The intention is a shorter operation that employs significantly more firepower than Cast Lead did. The IDF believes that Hamas and the many other terrorist groups operating in the Gaza Strip, some of them outside Hamas control, have more weapons than they did in 2008. Emboldened, they fired rockets at IDF troops for the first time this year, according to Haaretz.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for all fire coming out of the Gaza Strip, but many of the rockets are believed to come from other Palestinian factions. The man killed in today's Israel air strike, Muman Abu Daf, was leader of an Al Qaeda-inspired group known as the Army of Islam, BBC reports. The IDF believes the group planted explosives along the Israel-Gaza border and had a hand in planning an attempted attack along the Israel-Egypt border this week, according to The Associated Press.