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Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 18:05
Israeli defense minister: Now's the time to strike Hamas
By Associated Press
Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 18:05 By Associated Press

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman addresses the media during a visit to a new construction site inside the Israeli Karnei Shomron settlement in the occupied West Bank on Oct 2, 2018. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

JERUSALEM — Israel's defense minister says the time has come to deliver a "heavy blow" to Gaza's militant Hamas leaders, after weeks of border violence.

Avigdor Lieberman says he'll recommend doing so when Israel's security Cabinet meets the following day. The minister spoke on Tuesday during a visit to a military base near the border.

ALSO READ: Hamas dissolves Gaza administration in Palestinian unity bid

He says it's "the only way to lower the level of violence to zero or close to zero."

Hamas has held weekly border protests for the past six months, aimed at easing a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

The protests intensified as Egyptian-mediated cease-fire efforts faltered. Over the weekend, Israel halted Qatari-donated fuel shipments to Gaza's power plant in response to escalating violence.

Since March, 155 Palestinians were killed during the protests. Israel says it's defending its border.

READ MORE: Call for restraint as Israeli forces kill dozens in Gaza

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