'Israel has plans prepared for major Gaza operation if needed - but only as a last resort,' PM tells community leaders in southern Israel.

Israel is not planning a major military operation in the Gaza Strip prior to the March 2nd Knesset election, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, just over two weeks before Israelis head to the polls in the third general election in less than a year.

Netanyahu met with local council heads from Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip in a gathering at the Prime Minister’s Office Sunday to discuss the security situation on the Gaza frontier, as well as efforts by the government to promote economic growth in western Negev.

Attending the meeting with the Prime Minister were Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Gadi Yarkoni, Ashkelon Coast Regional Council Chairman Itamar Revivo, Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Ofir Levenstein and Sdot Negev Regional Council Chairman Tamir Idan.

The Prime Minister assured the community leaders that Israel is “prepared for any scenario”, the Prime Minister’s Office said, “including a wide-ranging operation”, but added that such an operation would only be undertaken if all other options to secure southern Israel failed.

“The operation plans are ready in any event and for any scenario,” Netanyahu said. Read more at Arutz-7