By Ted Belman
PM Netanyahu gave a speech today and pledged to destroy the tunnels with out without a ceasefire.
Haaretz reports on the speech;
“We have so far neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are determined to complete this task. Therefore, I will not agree to any cease-fire that does not enable the IDF to complete this very important task. Hamas has been hit hard by both the IDF and the Shin, who are closely coordinated. We have delivered harsh blows to thousands of terror targets, rockets depots, manufacturing sites, and launching sites, and hundreds of terrorists have been killed. These achievements and the operation to neutralize the tunnels are only the first step in demilitarizing the Gaza Strip. The United States and the European Union have accepted our stance, and though it was difficult to achieve, we have done so, through hard work.”
This is what I surmised yesterday in my post Washinton has changed its tune . Nice to see he is confirming it.
This is what lead me believe that a deal was in the works to agree to a cease fire when tunnels are destroyed to parallel demilitarization with the opening of borders and rebuilding of Gaza.
Dan Margalit, writing in Israel Hayom sees a deal as a few days off:
The trio has a hard time settling on an endgame that would let Israel keep its battleground accomplishments while prompting Hamas to halt its fire. The three leaders are also in search of a path that would be compatible with the world’s twisted ethical code, according to which Israel may be right but it must stop exercising its right to self-defense (this is the message coming out of the White House and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s office). Ya’alon and Netanyahu also want to pursue a policy that would meet the demands set by the Right, which has insisted on widening the scope of the operation even though the bang for the buck would be minimal.
[..] When ministers at the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet demanded that Israel conquer more and more land in the Gaza Strip, the military presented them with a casualty estimate. This was enough to silence the ministers inside the room, but not on the airwaves.
H ends with:
The objectives should be met without any fear and without hesitation on our part. It will be time for a cease-fire in a few days. Only then will it be time to end this operation. But if Mashaal refuses, Israel should consider unilateral moves. There is nothing inherently wrong in ending things this way.