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Netanyahu: Israel will ‘probably’ have to go to war with Gaza

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Yoav Lemmer/Getty Images]
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Yoav Lemmer/Getty Images]

Israel will probably have to go to war with the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today.

In a radio interview with the Kan public broadcaster, Netanyahu said that “there probably won’t be a choice but to launch an operation, a war with the terror forces in Gaza”.

According to the Haaretz, Netanyahu warned that declaring war with the Gaza Strip is “a dangerous” last resort and that he doesn’t intend to endanger “soldiers and civilians to get applause”. He also mentioned that he will refrain from sending Israeli troops to the Strip until they get “optimal conditions” to do so.

Although Netanyahu described the declaration as being dangerous, he mentioned that “there will be a military operation but I will only launch it when we are ready and not a minute earlier”.

He pledged to “bring down the Hamas regime in Gaza”.

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Netanyahu’s latest remarks have been seen as part of election campaigning, where he has been trying to attract right-wing voters ahead of Tuesday’s ballot.

Earlier this week he said he would annex the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea were he to be re-elected. He went on to call on supporters of smaller right-wing parties to vote for him to increase the chances of the right getting into power.

Israel is facing a do-over election next week after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government following April’s ballot. The latest polls show that his Likud party remains tied with its biggest rival the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance.

Only a war can cause an election to be postponed, and commentators have previously highlighted that Netanyahu has launched attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip in an effort to bolster his campaign and his chances of winning the election.

READ: Netanyahu is risking war to boost his electoral prospects

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