Netanyahu: Israel has No Plans for Ending Violence
Israel cannot say when the attacks on the Gaza Strip will stop. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli media that it is not possible to make a timetable.
Netanyahu is out for a “powerful deterrent” to prevent future conflicts with Hamas. He said Israel wants to achieve the operation’s goals against the militant Palestinians and that previous operations have taken a long time. “A timetable is therefore not possible”.
Israel and Hamas have been carrying out heavy shelling on each other since last Monday. A military source said on Wednesday that Israel is investigating when it is possible to declare a truce with Hamas. The anonymous source said a ceasefire is possible, but bombing for days more is also an option.
“We are looking at the best time for a truce,” the source told AFP news agency. Israel is evaluating whether Hamas’s ability to attack Israel has been diminished enough. “Gaza’s Hamas leadership must understand that the missile strikes against Israel must not continue,” the military source said.
The violence has claimed the lives of more than 200 people, especially in the Gaza Strip. There, the infrastructure was seriously damaged by the ongoing struggle between Israel and militant Palestinians. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have fled their homes, and many people in Israel have to shelter from rocket fire.
International pressure to conclude a ceasefire is growing, and commentators in Israel are also wondering how useful it is to continue the fight. The Jerusalem Post newspaper wrote that it is now clear that Israel does not intend to send ground troops to deal a much harder blow to Hamas.
According to the newspaper, a conflict is unlikely to be won by any of the warring parties. Israel may have eliminated some of the top figures, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad would still have many thousands of fighters and missiles.
Sources tell the newspaper that Israel has attempted to kill key Hamas commander Mohammed Deif twice in the past week and a half. He got away at the last minute in both cases. According to the newspaper, the Israeli authorities appear to be citing that as a reason for continuing the airstrikes.