Israel threatens 'painful' strike against Hamas in Gaza

Israel threatens 'painful' strike against Hamas in Gaza
Palestinian carry the body of Mohammed Abbas, 21, who was killed by Israeli troops during Friday's protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, into the family home during his funeral in Gaza City, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister is threatening “very painful blows” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers if they don’t halt protests along the perimeter fence that have led to clashes with Israeli troops.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is very close to waging a “different kind of activity” against the Islamic militants. He says “if it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts — now.”

Hamas has orchestrated near-weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza boundary since March, pressing for an end to a decade-long Israel-Egyptian blockade of the isolated territory.

On Friday, some 20 Palestinians breached the border. Israeli troops shot dead seven at that location.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars over the past decade and have recently repeatedly stepped back from the brink.