Netanyahu: “results beyond our expectation

GOC Southern Command: Only ground op can take out tunnels

YNET

Maj.-Gen. Tugeman says mission is not yet done, while cabinet members disagree with defense minister’s assessment that mission can be accomplished in coming days.
Matan Tzuri

Israel cannot protect itself from the threat posed by the terror tunnels with the Iron Dome, so continuing to combat it is a necessity, GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman said on Monday.

Turgeman said the joint mission by the ground forces, the artillery corps and the air force has been successful in hitting hundreds of Hamas militants. But despite that, the mission isn’t done yet, he stressed.

“A country that cherishes life must fight the tunnel infrastructure. There is no Iron Dome to fight the tunnel threat, there’s only Sisyphean work,” Turgeman said as Israel buried even more of its fallen soldiers.

“The fighting in the Strip is hard and complicated. Everywhere we operated in, we destroyed tunnels. In fighting this complicated there are casualties,” he said.

After the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit released a chilling clip of Gaza terrorists emerging from a tunnel into Israeli territory, Netanyahu said “the operation will continue and expand until it achieves its objective – returning the quiet to the Israeli people for a prolonged period.”

Netanyahu was visiting military positions in southern Israel on Monday afternoon. He had a security briefing with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Benny Gantz, and GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman.

Netanyahu said the “IDF is progressing on the ground according to plan. The achievements on the battlefield are clear. I am impressed with the operations to destroy the tunnels, which has accomplished results beyond our expectation.”

The Likud leader expressed his support for the soldiers. “In the name of the Israeli people I say to all of our soldiers in the field that we are proud of your strength of spirit and are praying for your safety. The military campaign is complex and will have difficult moments. I am positive that together we can achieve our objective.”

Earlier in the day several ministers expressed their rejection of international pressure to end the operation and their thoughts on a potential future Israeli presence in Gaza.

“We need to consider leaving an IDF presence in parts of the northern Gaza Strip,” said cabinet member Gilad Erdan. “Until we destroy the tunnels – we should not agree to any ceasefire offer.”

Erdan’s remarks are a subtle signal to the statements made by the defense minister on Sunday at a press conference in the Kirya. In response to a question about what Israel would do if a ceasefire was externally enforced in the coming days, Moshe Ya’alon said: “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but I estimate that the lion’s share of tunnels will have been destroyed.”

Communications Minister Erdan disagreed with that assessment during a visit to injured soldiers in the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. “There will be no ceasefire until the mission is achieved. This is part of learning from the past. We knew it would not be simple or easy, but we are seeing results faster than we expected. We have given a green light to expand the operation.”

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who was visiting the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, echoed Erdan’s statements. “I believe that the fighting will continue for a prolonged period and could entail further escalations. The foremost objective is to hit Hamas and collapse its infrastructure.”

Steinitz added: “The secondary objective is to return the calm. This objective has yet to be reached. And we will take over all of Gaza if we need to. The third objective is the demilitarization of Gaza.”

Ilana Curiel contributed to this report.

July 21, 2014 | 15 Comments »

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15 Comments / 15 Comments

  1. @ the phoenix:
    the US probably wants that for down the road but it is a long way off and I dont think there can be any peace agreement in the short term. I think right now there might be agreement on giving gaza to abbas in steps starting with PA taking customs,the unity gov will mean, I believe, that gaza must demilitarize like PA in order to keep PA Israel agreements. Qatar wanted to rebuild gaza so perhaps they will put in the money for that. I think the emphasis will be on PA unity gov and PA taking over gaza with GCC cash. the cease fire agreements show PA taking over customs and then they will probably open the borders as before hamas took over, using the same parameters. It may be that the cease fire terms are the cover for how the PA takes over gaza and how hamas melds into the PLO and PA as a political entity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current advances give more to abbas than to Israel, but with Israels agreement.

  2. @ bernard ross:

    I am not sure which part you want me to comment.

    @ the phoenix:

    Some two years ago, the black bastard (may we soon see him dangling from a rope , AMEN!!!) made a speech where he mentioned establishing a pee state with CONTIGUOUS borders!!!!
    I.e. as yamit above said, dividing Israel in two ????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. drjb Said:

    From the info I have seen, Shefiyah has been levelled. So my question to you is: why not level it with carpet bombing BEFORE you send in any ground troops??
    why risk your soldiers needlessly??

    exactly.

  4. the phoenix Said:

    see comment #7 on the “Five IDF task forces begin driving into Gaza City.” Thread.

    I am not sure which part you want me to comment. As for giving it to abbas you will see I have been predicting that for a while and that it sits in harmony with the model I have been speculating is in play all along since before pillar of defense. That there are understandings between Israel and the GCC, regional goals, etc and that BB’s behavior in this event is best explained with that model. I have said for a while that the west, egypt, gcc et were seeking to weaken hamas and give it to abbas as part of his payment in the overall plan including the talks that went nowhere. the main thing was to cut Iranian links and qatar was the GCC rep in charge of that exercise with israel at pillar of defense when hamas was leashed by GCC and egypt. I always beleived at that time that Israel target bombed iranian linked hamas and gazans in collaboration with GCC and hamas elements who could not do it themselves. The overt actions began when tamarod started to publish in gaza. I see thsi as part of a larger regional plan involving the west and GCC. I do not buy many narrative out there right now which I beleive are disinformation designed to obfuscate and be red herrings.
    I am not sure what you refer to discussion.

  5. @ yamit82:
    Hi Yamit!
    Hope you and family are doing well. We’re praying for all of you guys.
    Why is Bibi so impressed with the results of the operation??? “Beyond our expectations”?? what were they expecting??
    From the info I have seen, Shefiyah has been levelled. So my question to you is: why not level it with carpet bombing BEFORE you send in any ground troops??
    why risk your soldiers needlessly?? the whole world thinks the IDF are Nazis anyway, so who are we trying to appease?

  6. @ XLucid:

    4 were killed by RPG fired by tunnel infiltrators on our side of the border 6:30 am. One killed by friendly fire and 2 others by RPG fired at a room they occupied as a command post.

    War is hell and soldiers die. Fact of life. Save the recriminations for afterwards. I have no trust BB will do the right thing but this time he might have to weigh caving to Obama or Leiberman and Bennett ( who have both indicated that if BB agrees to a premature cease fire they will bring down his government. Will they?? Depends upon the polls and the real sentiments of most Israelis and especially the Likud Base.

  7. @ bernard ross:

    I read that the US, Nato and the GCC wanted hamas deposed so they could install abbas and have a unity gov that was demilitarized as the PA.

    Please see comment #7 on the “Five IDF task forces begin driving into Gaza City.” Thread.
    What is your take?

  8. Israeli Cabinet members blame US for failed cease-fire…..
    Although US Secretary of State John Kerry backed the Egyptian track, he did, however, say that if that track failed, there were other alternatives. That’s a serious misstep. This statement let Hamas think that it could spit in Egypt’s face and still have other options. And that’s exactly how the events unfolded. Hamas’ military wing totally ignored the cease-fire, Hamas lashed out bluntly at the Egyptians and then the whole thing simply collapsed.

    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/07/israel-hamas-egypt-qatar-turkey-saudi-arabia-ceasefire.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=bda396dff2-July_21_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-bda396dff2-100371289#ixzz387z5P955

    could it have been a trick, like the “wink” that the US gave saddam to invade kuwait? Perhaps hamas figured the US was signalling they would get a better deal and perhaps the US knew they would then reject the Egyptian deal which in turn led Sisi to make his unprecedented statement absolving israel and condemning Gaza. This rejection provided the arab and international world the excuse to back the invasion while crying about civilians, as they must. I read that the US, Nato and the GCC wanted hamas deposed so they could install abbas and have a unity gov that was demilitarized as the PA.

  9. Those who desire to shed Jews blood do not have peace or know peace or desire peace. They understand power. BB and those of you in leadership position, please have Hamas removed from power; completely destroy its infrastructures; reject the double talkers and hypocrites (international pressures).

    Unless Hamas is completely defeated now, Israel may not get
    another golden opportunity.

  10. Breaking: Seven More IDF Soldiers, Officers Killed

    All corrupt leaders who order the IDF to warn the terrorist population of Gaza to evacuate the area should be put on trial.

    Warning them prove Hamas with advance information on where the IDF would strike.

    Enough bloodshed of Jews to save the life of the parasites!!!

  11. Regrettably we simply refuse to act rationally.
    I warned about allowing Netanyahu and the makeshift generals who are not trained to WIN to command this war.
    Netanyahu will NOT do the job, neither will the generals.
    Betrayal on its way.

  12. And we will take over all of Gaza if we need to. The third objective is the demilitarization of Gaza.”

    Fine… Now what will be the forth objective?

    Shall all the 8,000 survivors of the pogroms carried out in Goush Katif by the Israeli government be allowed to return home?

    Oh, how on earth could I have forgotten it?

    Gaza will be offered on a silver plate to the Chief Terrorist Abbas, duly cleaned and decontaminated with our beloved soldiers’ blood.

  13. @ Yidvocate:
    That has been SOP for decades. The unJews USE us and that is all. Their proclamations must be placed before an independent investigator to ferret out the truth.

  14. Should the loss of our precious brothers and sisters in combat be ONCE AGAIN in vain or will their sacrifice finally mean something like destroying FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL the the terror regime of Gaza?