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TEL AVIV, July 28 /ITAR-TASS/. Israel will soon deliver a devastating strike against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which controls the Gaza Strip, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Monday.
Israel Defense Forces General Staff Chief Benny Gantz said in turn that he “does not doubt that Israel will keep delivering strikes against Hamas with an increasing force and achieve success while improving the operational situation in the south” of the country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israelis should be ready for a lengthy military campaign in Gaza.
“There’s no righter war than this one,” Netanyahu said while speaking at the Defense Ministry’s government compound in Tel Aviv. “We knew that we were in for hard days. We need to be patient and resolute to eradicate the terrorist organization [Hamas] that wants to destroy us.”
Local commentators said that neither the premier, nor the defense minister nor the chief of the General Staff, despite the belligerent tone of the statement, spoke directly about the order to further expand and intensify Israel’s operation in Gaza. They refused to answer questions from journalists.
Israeli-Palestinian relations grew sour after June 12, 2014, when three Jewish teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. Later the teenagers were found killed. Israel accused Hamas militants of committing the crime.
On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants.
A total of 1,060 Arabs and 50 Israelis have been killed over the three weeks since the start of the operation.