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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says he doesn't rule out reoccupying Gaza Strip

"You can either conquer them ... or you can deter them," Netanyahu said of the Gaza Strip.

Updated: May 19, 2021 - 4:24pm

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told diplomats Wednesday that he has not ruled out reoccupying the Gaza Strip as violence between Palestinians and Israel has escalated for more than a week.

"You can either conquer them – and that's always an open possibility – or you can deter them," Netanyahu said, according to Haaretz. "We are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say, we're not ruling out anything. We hope we can restore quiet. We hope we can restore it quickly."

In 2005, Israel withdrew its forces and forced out 8,000 Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip, which borders Israel and is controlled by the terror organization Hamas. Israel had occupied Gaza since it conquered the land after the 1967 Six-day war from Egypt.

Netanyahu's musings come during the tenth consecutive day of violence between Israel and Hamas, which has fired almost 4,000 rockets into Israel over the last week.

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