Israel is prepared for "any scenario" with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including a ceasefire or military escalation, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said yesterday.
"Today I visited the [Israeli army's] Gaza Division and assessed the [security] situation," Gantz said on Twitter, adding that "Israel is ready for any scenario, whether settlement or [military] escalation."
Gantz said Tel Aviv "will continue to work to maintain a long-term calm, so that the residents of Gaza enjoy economic prosperity and we return our sons to Israel" in reference to the four Israelis being held in Gaza as prisoners of war.
On 21 June, Gantz threatened to prevent the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip unless Hamas returns the four Israelis held in Gaza. The movement rejected the stipulation.
Israel has been imposing a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip since 2007, limiting the reconstruction, humanitarian and medical materials entering the Strip.