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Lieberman threatens Gaza with 'wide scale, painful military operation'

July 20, 2018 4:42 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2018 2:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, threatened to initiate a “wide scale and painful military operation” against the besieged Gaza Strip due to the continued launch of incendiary kites and explosive balloons from Gaza into Israel, on Friday.

Lieberman visited Gaza border residents, in the vicinity of the Israeli border town of Kfar Azza, and acknowledged that the situation on the Gaza borders is “intolerable” due to the incendiary kites and explosive balloons setting ablaze several fields and natural forests, and the ashes affecting the quality of the air.

Lieberman blamed the Hamas movement for the current situation and accused Hamas of forcefully pushing its army into a “no choice” situation that requires a wide scale and painful military operation to intervene.

Lieberman called upon the residents of Gaza to pressure Hamas to change direction, in order “to return to a civil and reasonable reality, and for easing ‘economic hardships.’”

Lieberman also denied that any talks were currently taking place between Israel and the Hamas movement, insisting that Jerusalem is “in close contact” with relevant people, whether that is the Egyptians or UN representatives.

The most recent exchange of missiles and mortar shells Israel and Hamas was when Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting southern Gaza and killing one Palestinian youth, while injuring three others, one of whom is in critical condition.

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