Israel ready for Gaza invasion, prefers diplomatic solution - official

JERUSALEM Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:12am EST

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JERUSALEM Nov 19 (Reuters) - Israel is ready for a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip but prefers a diplomatic solution, a senior official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

"We would prefer to see a diplomatic solution that would guarantee the peace for Israel's population in the south. If that is possible, then a ground operation would no longer be required," the official told Reuters. "But if diplomacy fails, we may well have no alternative but to send in ground forces."