Smoke and sand are seen following an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 25, 2014.
Smoke and sand are seen following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 25, 2014. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel flattened a 13-storey apartment block in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say 2,115 people, most of them civilians and more than 400 of them children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive with the declared aim of ending Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and four civilians in Israel have been killed. Reuters

Russia is planning to ignite a war in Israel in an alleged contingency plan to trigger a direct military conflict between Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. A French official has revealed the plan as Russia's weapon against the U.S. and the European Union amid increasing sanctions on Moscow.

According to WND, the official, who has requested his identity to remain unknown, said Russia's plan to start a war in Israel was borne out of Russia's increasing isolation due to Western sanctions. In the past week, the U.S. and European Union issued tighter sanctions to target the Russian economy and pressure Moscow to pull out its troops in Crimea. The new sanctions include restrictions on investments including tourism and Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration.

The anonymous official further revealed that Russia has been successful in sending Hezbollah a large shipment of Iskandar ballistic missiles and surface-to-air missiles. The convoy of missiles was received despite the alleged efforts of Israeli airstrikes targeting weapons shipped by Russia earlier in December.

Russia has apparently not made any final decision about pushing Hezbollah to attack Israel. However, the French official believes Russia will use a possible conflict in the Middle East to play out the country's confrontation with the West.

Earlier in the month, Israel had launched airstrikes in Syrian government territory. The Daily Beast reported that Israeli troops have been ordered to blow up weapons supplied to Hezbollah. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bognadov was in a meeting with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to negotiate peace in Syria and the delivery of Russian weapons to help the group fight ISIS militants.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted a significant increase in foreign intelligence activities. In a TASS report, Mr Putin said in a gala night commemorating the Day of Security Service Officers that foreign special services activity is "on the rise" in Russia.

He encouraged the members of the Russian intelligence service to step up efforts to fight terrorism and extremism. Mr Putin reminded the Russian secret service that one of its key tasks is to thwart "any attempts of foreign special services" to deliver a blow to Russia. The Russian president, a former KGB operative, has previously downplayed the threat of a coup as he believes majority of Russians support his leadership.