Security cabinet directs IDF to continue operation, complete destruction of terror tunnels

LAST UPDATED: 07/30/2014 22:31

Israel will continue to declare limited humanitarian cease-fires, says senior diplomatic official; IDF has made “significant achievements” in degrading Hamas infrastructure.
idf tank

IDF soldiers stand atop a tank near the border with Gaza July 29, 2014. Photo: REUTERS

The security cabinet directed the IDF on Wednesday to continue to forcefully hit Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and to complete the job of neutralizing the terror tunnels, a senior diplomatic official said Wednesday.

According to the official, speaking after a four-hour security cabinet meeting, the IDF operation has led to “significant achievements on the ground” and is hitting at the “strategic apparatus” that Hamas has invested in for years.

The official said that the IDF also has had “significant achievements” in degrading the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, and will “continue to expand” those operations.

The security cabinet said it would continue to declare limited humanitarian cease-fires, similar to Wednesday’s four-hour cease fire, in areas where there is no fighting and without endangering soldiers or compromising the efforts to destroy the tunnels. The idea behind these lulls in the fighting was to provide the civilians in Gaza with the possibility to stock up on basic necessities, the official said.

The official added that no new cease-fire proposal that meets Israel’s demands has been brought to the security cabinet for a decision. Israel accepted an Egyptian cease-fire proposal two weeks ago, and stands by that proposal.

The security cabinet decision to continue the operation, and expand it where necessary to hit the terrorist infrastructure, was reportedly taken unanimously.

OC Southern Command Major-Gen. Sami Turgeman said Wednesday evening that regarding destruction of Hamas’s terror tunnels, the IDF’s “mission will be completed within a number of days.”

The security cabinet met during the four-hour humanitarian cease-fire Israel declared in areas of fighting. Hamas did not honor the cease fire.

Even as the official indicated that that a cease-fire was not imminent, AFP reported airport officials as saying that an Israeli delegation arrived in Gaza to discuss the situation.

And Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a TV interview on Tuesday night that Hamas authorized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate on its behalf, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Meanwhile, amid very public disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem over a potential cease-fire, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said at the daily press briefing in Washington that Israel supported the US efforts at brokering a cease fire.

Harf said that the US believed Qatar and Turkey had a role to play in the cease-fire contacts, and that US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke three times on Wednesday with the Qatari foreign minister.

Before the security cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Yair Lapid – who is a member of the eight-person forum – said that Mohammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military wing, was a “marked man.”

Lapid said that Def’s comments the day before claiming victory for Hamas were reminiscent of Iraqi propaganda on the eve of the fall of Saddam Hussein.

“For years, Mohammed Deif has been hiding in the tunnels beneath Gaza, and that is where he will remain because he is a marked man,” Lapid said. “He knows that sooner or later we will find him and kill him.”

Deif, whom Israel has tried to kill at least four times in the past, was heard in a recording Tuesday saying that Hamas was “winning the war,” and saying that there would be no cease-fire until Israel “lifted the siege” of Gaza.

On the contrary, Lapid said “Hamas has been bruised and battered, and it is scared, and it is losing this campaign thanks to the heroism and determination of the IDF and its soldiers.”

The Finance Minister said that the IDF has so far hit 4,000 terrorist targets, hundreds of terrorists, destroyed a large part of Hamas’ infrastructure and the vast majority of the terror tunnels.

Another member of the security cabinet, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, told a group of visiting German parliamentarians in the country to show their support that there was a “battle of civilizations” currently taking place in the Middle East, and that the the events in Gaza were just part of a wider struggle taking place in Libya, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

This struggle, he said, is the greatest challenge facing the world since World War II, and Europe “should be committed to Israel.”

Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.


July 30, 2014 | 2 Comments »

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  1. We, the people, will be the judges of how well the combina did the job, that we, the people, expect them to do. Their plans or hat tricks will NOT count. How did they respond to the demands of the PEOPLE will be the measuring stick.
    They themselves will not grade their purported war achievement, we, the people will do it.
    And in the background but sternly up front of it all will be the number of our children killed and maimed during the combina’s adventures.
    We, the people will ferret out every large or minute detail and study the outcome while also compare that to the “disengagement” itself and Oslo as well.
    There will be no waivers to the Oslo and “disengagement” aggregates.
    Ah… And we, the people, will call in to stand in front of a people elected commission of inquiry the unJewish flag carriers headed by don Peres and his jolly gangs, Gal On and her loverly items, Openheimer, Barak, Zoabi and a few other jewels roaming in unJewish formats.
    We, the people are preparing a whole package of review boards for Don Netanyahu as well.

  2. Right, right on.

    These animals want to exterminate Jews. So what is Israel doing letting their leaders breathe the air?

    I understand there is heat on Israel but no good reason to keep the likes of Meshaal and Haniyeh alive.