Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Avi Dichter believes that a military offensive is the only way to end Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, Quds Press reported yesterday.
Dichter, who is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, former minister of internal security and former head of Shin Bet, said that Israel should carry out a military operation in Gaza similar to the one carried out in the occupied West Bank in 2002.
On 29 March 2002, late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the start of the "Defensive Shield Operation" which ended on 3 May. It was aimed at ending the Second Intifada (2000-2005).
The Israeli army mobilised 30,000 troops for the operation, in which it used tanks, helicopters and attack fighters. Up to 240 Palestinians were killed, according to B'Tselem, and over 1,500 others were wounded as the Israeli army invaded most of the West Bank cities.
In November, Dichter told reporters that "Israel's political and military leadership need to decide at a certain point to launch a campaign that will destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza."