Israeli army chief Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told Army Radio on Wednesday that the military is fully prepared for a major ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, and is only waiting for a green light from the political echelon.
Military and security experts have been urging the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for more than a year to authorize a full-scale ground invasion of Gaza, insisting that it is the only way to effectively curb ongoing terrorist artillery attacks on southern Israel and crush the Hamas military machine being built there.
In the meantime, Ashkenazi said his forces are operating regularly on a smaller scale against specific terrorist threats emanating from Gaza.
In a pinpoint air strike on Wednesday, three Hamas terrorists were killed and another four were wounded. Army officials said the targeted cell was preparing to launch mortar shells from northern Gaza.