Israeli political and military officials responded furiously on Tuesday to wounding of an Israeli army officer by a roadside bomb planted along the fence separating the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip from the rest of Israel.
The bomb was detonated against an Israeli army patrol near the Kissufim Crossing. The wounded officer suffered critical wounds to his face and limbs.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while the violence had emanated from Gaza, its true source was Iran.
"Today we engaged in exchanges against terrorist aggression that comes from our southern border in Gaza, but it actually comes from Iran and a whole terror network that is supporting these attacks," said Netanyahu.
Hamas and its allied terror groups are known to receive moral, logistical and material support from the Iranian regime.
Netanyahu vowed that the response to Tuesday's attack and ongoing rocket fire against southern Israel would be severe.
"We will fight and we will hit them very, very hard," said Netanyahu. "The way to fight terror is to fight terror, and that we shall do with great force."
Just hours earlier, Col. Amir Baram, commander of one of Israel's top paratrooper units, told Channel 2 News that the Israeli army will likely have to launch another ground invasion of Gaza in the near future.
"I think there won't be a choice. We'll need to enter Gaza soon," said Baram, noting that the only way to truly cripple the terrorists' capabilities is to go house-to-house and destroy their weapons caches.
Israel last entered Gaza in force during the winter of 2008-2009. Despite the massive escalation in terrorist rocket fire that forced Israel to take action, the international community predictably blamed Israel for the conflict and its casualties.