Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that Israel was moving closer to carrying out a large-scale military operation in Gaza in order to put a stop to cross-border rocket and mortar barrages into Israel.
It was his first public hint of plans to combat the fire coming from the Hamas-ruled coastal strip, which Israel last week declared "hostile territory" as a prelude to possible punitive cuts of utilities.
Barak told Army Radio that a large-scale military operation would not be a simple undertaking.
"We are moving closer to a broad and complex operation in Gaza," Barak said.
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