World, Middle East

Israel mulling ‘broad’ assault on Gaza Strip: Official

As tensions mount along Gaza-Israel buffer zone, Hamas puts fighters on ‘high alert’

26.07.2018
Israel mulling ‘broad’ assault on Gaza Strip: Official

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Thursday that Israel could launch another wide-scale military operation against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

In an interview with the Kan Radio channel, Erdan said Israel was being “dragged into a broader campaign” against Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007. 

“Israeli settlers living near the Gaza Strip now find themselves in an unbearable situation, similar to what they faced four years ago [before Israel’s devastating 2014 onslaught on Gaza],” he said.

“If Hamas does not understand [this]… we will have to engage in a broad military operation that will exact a high price -- at least as high as [the 2014 assault] if not higher,” Erdan added.

In light of these threats, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, announced Thursday morning that its fighters had been placed in a state of “high alert”, according to a statement released by the group.

Tensions have steadily mounted along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in recent days.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli army shelled Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip, killing three group members.

Earlier the same day, an Israeli soldier near the buffer zone was injured by sniper fire emanating from inside the strip. 

Days earlier, an Israeli soldier was killed in a similar sniper attack.

Neither Hamas nor any other Palestinian resistance faction claimed responsibility for either attack.

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