Just days away from Israel’s third general election in under 12 months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was optimistic on Wednesday as he addressed a conference of regional council leaders.

“We are only two seats away from establishing a strong right-wing government and preventing a fourth election,” he said.

“Otherwise, we’ll get a government under [Blue and White leader Benny] Gantz that is dependent on Ahmad Tibi and the Joint Arab List. A government like that would endanger Israel’s security,” he added.

Netanyahu also addressed the recent two-day spike in violence between Israel and the terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip.

“The last decade has seen the fewest military [personnel] and civilians wounded. That’s not a coincidence. It stems from an aggressive policy. A wise policy of using force responsibly,” said Netanyahu.

However, he added, there may now be no choice but to launch a military operation in Gaza.

“It might be that there is no alternative to a wide-scale military operation. We are preparing it differently from what we have done thus far. I am not in a hurry to launch an operation that will lead to a war,” he said.

While there were no Israeli casualties in the latest round of hostilities, “there are psychological scars,” said Netanyahu. “This is not something that can be allowed to continue for long.”

What was necessary, he said, was to deal the terrorist organizations in Gaza a heavier blow than they can imagine.

“We need to deal Hamas and the other terrorist organizations a terrible blow, more than what they imagine, more than targeting their leaders in their beds. That is our last resort, and we hope we won’t have to use it, but if we do, we’ll win,” he said.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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