Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

According to IDF Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, the Israeli government is currently deciding whether to go to war with Hamas in light of the escalating tensions. “Although we have only used air force and artillery so far without ground forces, this is an option which might take place in the next few days,” he said on a phone conference. “It is clear that a ground forces operation is more complicated, as it would result in many more casualties on both the Palestinian side and the Israeli side.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week. It comes amid both escalating Russian and Syrian military activity against rebel-held strongholds in Syria – the cause of nearly 300,000 internally displaced refugees now amassing close to the Israel-Syrian border -and tensions with Iran.