Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven ‎Rivlin, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, ‎bereaved families and other dignitaries on Tuesday ‎attended the state memorial service honoring ‎soldiers who were killed in Operation Protective ‎Edge in the Gaza Strip in 2014.‎

‎“I feel a personal kinship with you,” the prime ‎minister said at the ceremony, held on Mount Herzl ‎in Jerusalem. “Four years have passed since the ‎difficult campaign in Israel’s south, and we have ‎taken up arms to remove the threat of Hamas terror. ‎This murderous organization controls the Gaza ‎Strip, oppresses its people and directs its efforts ‎toward Israel’s destruction.‎

‎“We continue to spare no effort to secure the return ‎of our soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Not ‎everything is known to the public, and that’s a good ‎thing. Our commitment will remain steadfast until ‎their return, and the same goes for our captive ‎civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed,” said ‎Netanyahu.‎

The prime minister also sent a clear message to ‎Hamas, saying its leaders “would be wise to defuse ‎tensions, not provoke ‎escalation. If they chose ‎escalation, they will find the price we exact from ‎them to be unbearable.”

But fed up with the government’s promises, 15 ‎bereaved families held a rally outside the Prime ‎Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, in solidarity with ‎the Goldin and Shaul families. ‎

Col. (ret.) Varda Pomerantz, who lost her son Daniel ‎in Operation Protective Edge, said “as far as we ‎are concerned, ‘Operation Protective Edge’ will not be ‎over until Oron and Hadar return home.”‎

Shaul’s mother, Zehava, said, “I haven’t had a ‎moment’s peace for four years. I’m telling the prime ‎minister—we can’t go on suffering. It’s time to ‎take action. There have been too many missed ‎opportunities. Now Hamas is in distress, and this may ‎be our last chance.”‎

Dr. Leah Goldin noted that “solidarity among the ‎bereaved families is not something that can be taken ‎for granted. These are the fundamental values at the ‎core of our existence. The prime minister has to ‎ensure our boys are returned before he worries about ‎Gaza’s rehabilitation. The fact that bereaved families have to rally ‎outside the Prime Minister’s Office to state the ‎obvious is very painful.”

Also on Tuesday, 22 fires were sparked in Gaza-‎vicinity ‎communities by incendiary kites. ‎Hundreds ‎of firefighters and volunteers battled the ‎flames ‎for hours before getting them under control.‎

Several kites hit the residents’ homes but luckily ‎caused only minor fires with no casualties. ‎

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh visited the area ‎and said that the airborne incendiary devices were ‎‎“outright terrorism. Luckily, there have been no ‎casualties so far, but it’s clear that that could ‎change at any moment.”