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Israeli Minister: Netanyahu is Preparing for Major Campaign in Gaza

Israeli Minister: Netanyahu is Preparing for Major Campaign in Gaza

Monday, 10 December, 2018 - 08:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his offices in Jerusalem (File photo: AFP)
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat
The apparent cooperation between the Israeli government and Hamas is “just an exchange of roles” according to a senior Israeli minister, adding that when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stopped funding Gaza Strip, Qatar provided Gazans with millions of dollars.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the “calm” situation between Israel and Gaza is being used to prepare for a major military campaign.

Netanyahu said at the regular meeting of Likud minister that precedes the weekly cabinet meeting, Israel has no interest in escalating the situation with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank at this time. He added that if left with no choice, Israel is now prepared to do more during a military operation in Gaza.

“If there is no choice, we are today in a situation to do much more in a military campaign in Gaza if needed, because we are taking advantage of the time to prepare. The security cabinet has already received an initial briefing," he told the meeting.

Prior to Netanyahu’s announcement, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan attacked the outgoing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who previously said that Israel is helpless before Hamas and Jihad.

Erdan considered it offensive for a former defense minister to announce such statement. He believes that Lieberman is responsible for everything that happened with the army.

“I think the picture is reversed. We have caused Hamas to back down. Seven or eight months after their rising, 300 Palestinians were killed and about 10,000 wounded. Many infrastructure facilities, weapons factories and tunnels were destroyed. "

Erdan was asked about the fact that Israeli government, which is waging a war against Hamas at the United Nations, allowed money to be brought to the movement. He explained that it may seem contradictory, “but the truth is very simple: Israel is fighting (Hamas) but is not concerned with a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.”

The Minister added that when Palestinian President stopped money transfers to the Strip, resulting in a shortage of food and medicine, Israel agreed that Doha would enter Ramallah.

“According to Gaza standards, the amount provided by Qatar ($15 million) is scarce."

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