Former US President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to send ground troops into the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014, Israel’s Arutz Sheva reported Netanyahu saying today.
Speaking at a Knesset committee meeting, Netanyahu said: “I explained to President Obama that if they continue not accepting the ceasefires, we will have no choice but to send in ground forces.”
He told me, ‘I am asking you not to send in ground forces.’ And I said, ‘I will do my best not to send them in, but if this continues, and the tunnels [dug from Gaza into Israel] continue to threaten us, we will have no choice but to go in.
“My goal was to avoid war as much as possible. If we needed to go to war, we wanted to pay the minimum price required. And when I say ‘price,’ I mean every family’s individual price, an entire world. I know the pain of war. We have an obligation to ensure the price of war is as low as possible.”
Israel launched an attack against the Gaza Strip which it called “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014. During the 51-day offensive, it killed 2,320 Palestinians, a large number children, wounded more than 11,000 others and completely destroyed 12,000 homes, damaging 160,000 others.