After cease-fire, Israel captures Gaza assailant on border

The escalation came after at least seven Palestinians were killed on Sunday in a covert Israeli operation

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Gaza's militant rulers had "begged for a cease-fire and they know why".

"We are buying quiet in the short-term at the cost of severe damage to our security in the long-term", he said in his resignation announcement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Paris because of the flare-up, and he returned to Israel on Monday for consultations with security officials.

Palestinian fighters in Gaza, including Hamas, issued a joint statement on Tuesday announcing an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel. "But in times of crisis, when making critical decisions in the field of security, the public can not always be a partner in the crucial considerations that must be concealed from the enemy".

Dozens of residents of communities near the Gaza border have burned tyres and blocked roads in protest at what they called the "lack of action by the Israeli government" to deal with the threat of Palestinian rocket attacks.

Hamas hailed Lieberman's resignation, calling it a "victory for Gaza", the newspaper added.

There were also, however expressions of support for Israel and condemnations of Hamas as a terrorist organization doing Iran's bidding in the Arabic-language social media, but "not many", the Foreign Ministry found.

Israel's Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman delivers a statement to the media following his party, Yisrael Beitenu, faction meting at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem November 14, 2018.

"I see the big picture of Israeli security that I can not share with the public", he said.

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Lieberman also cited the earlier decision to allow $15 million in cash from Qatar to be transferred in suitcases across the border to Hamas as the second factor forcing his decision.

"At these moments, leadership is not to do the easy thing; leadership is to do the right thing, even if it is hard".

"Lieberman's resignation is a recognition of the defeat before the growing force of the Palestinian resistance", said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

A senior cabinet member told Israel's Channel 10 that Liberman was in fact among several ministers that opposed Netanyahu's decision to agree to a truce with Hamas, an Islamist militant group which serves as the de-facto government of the Gaza Strip, after recent clashes across the Gaza border.

Palestinians in Gaza faced widespread destruction after the Israeli military targeted 160 sites.

Palestinians responded with rocket and mortar fire, as well as an anti-tank missile that hit a bus Hamas says was being used by Israeli soldiers.

Among those killed were an Israeli lieutenant colonel and a Hamas commander whose "responsibilities included digging attack tunnels and firing rockets into Israel", the New York Times reported.

"A general survey of tweets and posts in Arabic on social networks shows considerable hostility toward Israel, even more than in previous rounds" of violence between Hamas in Gaza in Israel, read the survey, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of Israel.

The blockade has ravaged Gaza's economy, and Israel refuses to lift it unless Hamas disarms, a demand the militants reject. Seven Palestinians, including at least five militants, were killed.

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