Israeli official: military could topple Hamas



REIM MILITARY BASE, Israel (AP) — Weeks after a round of fighting with Gaza militants subsided, a senior Israeli military official says Israel is ready and able to topple the territory’s Hamas government, though it has no immediate plans to do so.

The official also said Sunday that Gaza militants have improved their arsenal with weapons smuggled out of Libya. He says the militants are now capable of striking Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest population center.

The official says the military has no desire to conquer Gaza. But he says if something changes, Israel could do it. He spoke on condition of anonymity under Israeli military regulations.

There was no immediate Hamas reaction.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year military occupation.