War with Gaza ‘could happen at any moment’: Warns Netanyahu

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel might head to a military operation in the Gaza Strip before elections take place, Channel 13 reported on Friday morning, upon returning from a visit to Russia, saying that such an act “could happen at any moment.”

This statement came just one day after Netanyahu said that “it looks like there will be no other choice but to embark on a wide-scale campaign in Gaza.” The prime minister spoke with Reshet Bet shortly before flying out to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Netanyahu additionally spoke about his meeting with Putin in the later report by Channel 13, saying that he did not condemn the “annexation statement” about the Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu said that he had “an excellent meeting with Russian Defense Minister Shoigu, and afterwards a long and private meeting with Putin.”

Putin, during their meeting, said that the results of the Knesset election are very important to Moscow, and it hopes the politicians elected will maintain close ties with Russia.

The Russian president noted the importance of the two countries’ cooperation on security issues, and said that “largely thanks” to Netanyahu’s efforts, security ties and military cooperation between the two states have taken on “a new quality.”

On that same visit to Sochi, Netanyahu said that Israel must be allowed to act freely against Iran.
“Security coordination between us is always important, but it is especially important now, since in the past month there has been a serious increase in attempts by Iran to hit Israel from Syria and to place there precision missiles to use against us,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting.

Following the talks, which lasted for several hours, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both Russia and Israel agreed to boost dialog between their militaries in regards to Syria, Interfax news agency reported.

Herb Keinon and Reuters

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