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31 Mar, 2019 15:14

Israeli troops to stay near Gaza, ready for ‘extensive campaign’ if needed – Netanyahu

Israeli troops to stay near Gaza, ready for ‘extensive campaign’ if needed – Netanyahu

Israeli military units will remain stationed at the border of the Palestinian Gaza Strip enclave for an unspecified amount of time, and they are ready to wage an “extensive campaign” if needed, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

The Israeli leader produced the warlike comments on Sunday while greeting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who came to visit the country at a “tense time,” as Netanyahu put it.

“I have ordered that IDF forces remain fully deployed around the Gaza Strip. This includes tanks, artillery, ground forces and air forces. We are prepared for any scenario and – if need be – an extensive campaign. We will do what needs to be done for the security of Israel,” Netanyahu stated.

Tensions have been high around Gaza for months already, yet they appear to be rising even more as the elections in Israel loom. Netanyahu, who has been reigning Israel for 12 years, is facing a strong challenge this time in the form of former IDF chief Benny Gantz and rival of the incumbent PM Yair Lapid's Blue and White coalition.

Additional units of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) were sent to the Gaza strip earlier this week in response to a rocket, presumably fired by the Hamas group early on Monday. The projectile hit a house north of Tel Aviv, injuring seven people including two infants.

In mid-March Israel launched a massive attack on the Gaza Strip, hitting around 100 “Hamas-linked” targets. The operation was also launched in retaliation to rocket fire.

Also on rt.com Israel targets 'Hamas posts' with tank fire after Gaza rockets land in open space

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