Netanyahu threatens war with Hamas before Israeli elections
During a briefing about his Moscow trip, he answered a question about the possibility of a conflict starting with Hamas before the next elections, saying war could happen "at any moment."
"An operation in Gaza could happen at any moment, including four days before the elections. The date of the elections does not factor [into a decision to go to war]," he said, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel will head to the polls on 17 September.
Netanyahu met Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in Sochi on Thursday to discuss security cooperation in the Middle East, with the Israeli premier hoping to promote a "joint goal" of removing Iranian forces from neighbouring Syria.
Netanyahu also held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
Ahead of next week's parliament election in Israel, Putin told his guest that Russia was "not indifferent to who will be elected".
In turn, the Israeli leader said coordination with Russia's military was important because of their presence in Syria.
The Israeli premier's visit comes a day after Russia's foreign ministry warned that the Israeli leader's plan to annex the Jordan Valley could trigger a "sharp escalation of tensions in the region [and] undermine hopes for the establishment of long-awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours".
The legislative elections were called after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government following polls in April. The Israeli leader met Putin prior to that election as well.
Netanyahu has sought to highlight his relations with world leaders, including Putin and US President Donald Trump, and is on his third visit to Russia this year.
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