Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted Sunday that a ground assault on Hamas in Gaza is imminent.
"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," Barak said.
"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," he added.
"The continuation of the operation is a given," Barak explained. "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."
"We have no need or fixation about carrying out an attack, but we will not hesitate from carrying one out, not a long time from now, but in a very short time, if the reality demands it. We assume, since it does not depend on us, that we need to prepare… to act all the way in order to defeat the other side. All of the other things do not depend on us and if there are positive surprises in this field, we will consider them."