Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak announced this morning that Israel will soon begin a ground assault on Hamas-occupied Gaza. “The forces are ready. Everything is prepared, there will be food for everyone, excellent equipment, trained soldiers, the reserves are being absorbed quickly and we will carry out anything that is needed to ensure the aims of the operation are achieved,” said Barak. “Of course we are not averse to the possibility that in some way Hamas will stop firing and we will have to consider our steps and make sure the operation achieves its aims.

“The continuation of the operation is a given,” Barak continued. “We will continue to operate, strike and perhaps even the amplify the operation, vis-à-vis the launch devices, vis-à-vis the activists and the other things, and if there is a need we will not hesitate to launch a ground operation …”

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