Jerusalem, Aug 19 IANS | 2 months ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday evening that Israel is ready to respond forcefully in case rockets firing from Gaza would renew, amid the nearing expiration of the 120-hour cease-fire truce.

"The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) is prepared to strike aggressively (in Gaza) in case the fire from the strip would be renewed," Xinhua quoted the prime minister as saying.

The statement came following a situation assessment held at a navy base in the southern port city of Ashdod, along with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and army officials, according to a statement from his office.

"We are prepared for any scenario," Netanyahu said, regarding the pending expiration of the truce set for midnight local time ( GMT 2100) on Monday, after 120 hours of ceasefire.

"I have instructed the Israeli team in Cairo to insist on Israel and the IDF's security needs," Netanyahu said, adding that achieving the goal of restoring the quiet to Israeli citizens may take time.

Israel and Hamas agreed on several temporary truces in the past two weeks, during which delegates of both sides have been indirectly negotiating on a permanent truce to end Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt is now mediating between the two sides. Those truces have been extended several times and there are mixed reports regarding the progress of the talks.

(Posted on 19-08-2014)

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