MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – Israel has not ruled out using ground operations in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender said Monday.
“Today the decision of beginning ground operations is on the agenda, but has not yet been made. There are specialists and people who are handling these issues and they will decide on further steps in regard to this issue," Golender said during a press conference in Moscow.
The diplomat stressed that Israel is not interested in deteriorating the situation in the region.
“If you noticed, Israel has been very careful all this time and is absolutely not interested in aggravating the situation. But I think, the Cabinet of Ministers of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces are to take such steps they consider necessary to put an end to the outrage created by Hamas,” she said.
Golender said this has been the fourth operation by Israel against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 2005. “Hamas has been using all these years not for the good of its people but to increase its military might and of course, with the use of its radical Islamic elements,” she said.
Since the beginning of Protective Edge in Gaza, over 1,450 targets have been hit, including 770 rocket launchers, 69 training camps and 63 facilities for producing and storing weapons.
A total of 172 people have been killed in Gaza and another 1,250 have been wounded.
Israel has suffered no losses on its side although since the start of the campaign, Palestinians have fired over 980 rockets on the areas where 5 million Israelis live, out of a total population of 8 million.