Ya'alon: IDF is preparing for wide ground offensive

November 18, 2012 17:19


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Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said on Sunday the IDF is continuing to call up soldiers in order to broaden the scope of the Gaza operation and prepare for a wide ground offensive.

"We are satisfied by the mobilization of the reservists. They are ready, keen to participate," he said.

Ya'alon said Israel did not see any partner for political settlement with Hamas, and accused the terrorist organization of hiding behind civilians to shoot at Israeli citizens. "Israel tries to avoid hitting civilians, but it is hard to do so," he said.

Ya'alon also denied that Israel intends to topple the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. "It is up to the Palestinians who will govern them, it is not our mission. [Our mission] is to deter them [Hamas]," he said.

The vice premier dismissed reports that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulting from Israel's blockade. "[There is] no blockade, the gates are open even today," Ya'alon insisted. "I just have the UNRWA report from yesterday. No need for emergency assistance," he added.

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