A new war between Israel and Palestinian factions in the occupied Gaza Strip "is not far away", and will be "will be deadlier and more destructive than any previous" offensive, according to a report by the Jerusalem Post's military correspondent.
According to the analyst, Israeli officials "have repeatedly said that any future war with [Hamas]…will have to have a clear and decisive win by the Israeli military so that the other side will think twice about going to war in the future."
The Military Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi, "has already approved operational combat plans and recently set up an administrative unit to handle the formation of a list of potential targets in the coastal enclave for when the next war breaks out," the Post reported.
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"Ammunition and weapons have been restocked with four times the amount as before the last war, and military intelligence has hundreds of targets ready," the paper's correspondent added.
According to the correspondent, the Israeli military "knows the next war will include an all-out ground offensive", and that "thousands of soldiers will enter Gaza, in tanks, armoured personnel carriers, under cover of massive air bombardments and navy gunboat fire".
Acknowledging that "Gaza has been absolutely destroyed over the past 10 years", including three major offensives against the blockaded territory, the analyst noted that "Hamas is desperate to secure an easing of Israeli restrictions…and an end to Israel's 12-year blockade".
Nevertheless, the report concluded, the Israeli army "needs to be able to win the next war with Gaza on Israel's terms in the shortest time possible in order to restore long-term quiet to Israel."
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