Benjamin Netanyahu does not rule out taking over Gaza to stop Hamas attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Wednesday afternoon during a briefing with more than 70 foreign diplomats and ambassadors in Tel Aviv that Israel is not ruling out a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

“There are only two ways you can deal with it. You can either conquer it. And that is always an open possibility. Or you can deter them and we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say, we don’t rule out anything. We hope we can restore quiet. We hope we can restore it quickly,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said that the root of the rocket attacks originated in the cancellation of the Palestinian elections in the West Bank, saying that Hamas was sure that it would make significant gains. Instead, according to Netanyahu, Hamas exploited Jerusalem Day activities and the legal issues surrounding Sheikh Jarrah to incite violence against Israel and to begin launching rockets aimed at Israeli civilians.

Netanyahu admitted that the Israeli government was caught off guard by how quickly the violence escalated.

Netanyahu in his remarks expressed his condolences to Thailand and India. Hamas rockets fired from the Gaza Strip killed foreign nationals working in Israel from those two countries.

“I think that you should support Israel strongly, because this is not merely a question of Israel’s security, it’s a question of our common security and our common interests in the Middle East,” Netanyahu told the foreign diplomats.