A tense quiet in the Gaza border region might be the result of serious Israeli threats to "change the game" should terrorists in the coastal enclave continue to threaten the residents of southern Israel.
For months, Gaza-based terrorists have set the southern Negev region ablaze by flying burning kites across the security fence. The "kite terror" has accompanied ongoing violent mass demonstrations at the border, including several recent breaches of the frontier, and even a suspected attempt to abduct Israeli soldiers.
But the incident that really seems to have prodded Israel to take the situation more seriously was last week's missile strike on a family home in the Negev capital of Beersheva.
The house was hit by a modified GRAD missile, which some Israeli officials said they didn't know Hamas and its terrorist allies in Gaza even possessed. It's the kind of weapon that poses a very real threat to towns and cities throughout the central regions of the Jewish state, far more so than the homegrown rockets typically deployed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Following the Beersheva missile strike, Israel's Security Cabinet met in emergency session, after which Housing Minister (and former IDF Southern Commander) Yoav Gallant told reporters, "The game is about to change."
Gallant wouldn't go into details, but the threat was apparently enough to convince Hamas to rein in the violence emanating from Gaza, at least for the time being.
PHOTO: Palestinians prepare to assault the Gaza security fence, while unseen Hamas and allied terrorists fire missiles into southern Israel. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)