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The chance of a ground invasion of the Gaza strip is "very high," according to a senior Israeli military official who spoke anonymously.
"If you want to efficiently fight terrorism, you must be present, boots on the ground," the official said at a briefing on Wednesday. He said that an Israeli takeover of Gaza will not be "a huge challenge," and would only take "a matter of days or weeks."
"Every day that passes makes the possibility more evident," said the official. "We can hurt them very hard from the air but not get rid of them." The official said the military has a number of plans in mind, including "taking specific parts of the strip, taking places with tunnels [and] places with rockets."
Similarly, Mark Regev, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Wednesday that invading Gaza is "definitely an option" and is "being discussed."
The military official's announcement comes after Israel bombed 60 targets, the majority of which were in northern Gaza, raising the death count to 205 by Wednesday afternoon. Earlier on Wednesday, Hamas officials refused to participate in peace talks in Cairo. However, Hamas did make its own proposal offering 10 years of peace if Israel reopens the Gaza border crossings and releases 50 Palestinians who were re-arrested after their 2011 release in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier.