Israel is considering returning to "targeted" assassinations on militant leaders in response to a surge in rocket attacks.
Palestinian militants have fired more than 110 missiles over the border into southern Israel since Friday that have wounded a dozen soldiers and civilians.
Retaliatory air strikes have killed at least two militants and four civilians and have left more than 40 wounded.
Hamas leaders in Gaza indicated late on Monday that they would be prepared to consider a ceasefire but Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak told reporters "the matter has definitely not ended."
Israel's army unleashed three air strikes early today morning hitting a weapons storage centre and three rocket launch sites.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of senior ministers late today to discuss how to deal with the latest strikes, just two months before parliamentary elections he is hotly tipped to win.
Anonymous defence officials have revealed that a return to targeted assassinations, which drew international condemnation a decade ago, is shaping up as the preferred option.
Defence minister during the last wave of assassinations Shaul Mofaz told Army Radio the killings had put Hamas into disarray and stopped suicide bombings that had killed hundreds of Israelis.
"It is a policy that led Hamas to understand, during the suicide bombings, that they would pay the price should [the bombings] continue," he said.
Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, chief of staff at the time, added: "Over these past 13 years there has been an ongoing war, but there have also been extended periods of calm … the targeted killings against Hamas led to extended periods of quiet."
But Hamas dismissed the threats as "psychological warfare."
Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "Hamas will not bow to Israeli threats and people in Gaza will continue to live their ordinary lives not fearing such threats."
A repeat of the 2009 invasion appears to have fallen out of favour due to Israeli fears that they would be drawn into a long and bloody conflict against better-equipped Gazans.
The assassinations drew international condemnation, especially after an attack on Hamas military commander Salah Shehadeh killed 14 people, most of them children.
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