Gantz: Israel not looking for escalation in West Bank, but ‘ready for any scenario’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel is not seeking an intensification of clashes in the West Bank, a day after at least nine Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli fire during violent riots.

“Alongside the fighting in the Gaza Strip, we are also seeing an escalation in other [military] sectors, among them Judea and Samaria,” Gantz says after holding an assessment with top security officials at IDF Central Command, using the biblical name for the West Bank.

“I want to convey a message to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria — the State of Israel has no interest in an escalation in Judea and Samaria but is ready for any scenario,” he continues. “In Gaza the residents are suffering because of the Hamas rule, while the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria can enjoy the calm and stable economy.”

He also warns Palestinian leaders against inflaming tensions and says that if there is an increase in terror attacks, “we’ll be forced to cancel steps that are meant to help the Palestinian economy and society after the year of coronavirus.”

Turning to Gaza, Gantz says “we exacted a very heavy price from Hamas over the past day” and that Israel has more attack plans up its sleeve.

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