Israel and the Hamas terror group in Gaza may have reached a renewed ceasefire agreement, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that his country is still keeping its options on the table if Gaza terrorism resumes—and that includes a “wide-ranging military operation” in Gaza.
Addressing critics of his government’s approach to the Gaza conflict, Netanyahu said on Sunday, “I am not impressed by the propaganda of so-called experts. Many of them are offering us advice that they themselves would not implement if they were in power. Let us not be confused, they would be the first to criticize us after we set out on a wide-ranging military operation, which we may yet have to do. Therefore, I am guided solely by one thing—the security of the State of Israel.”
Israel has fought multiple wars with terrorists in the Gaza Strip in the last decade-plus, most recently in 2014. For now, Netanyahu sounded focused on less extensive responses. “Last week we imposed heavy sanctions on Hamas including halting fuels. If we need to, we will employ much harsher measures,” said the Israeli Premier in comments released by his office. “We are taking these actions in consultation with all security elements.”
The Prime Minister’s warnings come in the wake of a refreshed ceasefire agreement with Hamas that has been criticized by political opponents and some within the governing coalition, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post. Per the report, Israeli gestures included resuming fuel supplies to Gaza, while Hamas was to halt their arson terror and attacks near the border.
Yet while the agreement was supposed to start on Friday morning, later during the weekend the IDF Hebrew Twitter page, as translated by Microsoft, reported that multiple suspects were caught near the Gaza border fence with knives. In addition, The Jerusalem Post reported that arson attacks from Gaza started over a dozen fires in Israel after the ceasefire supposedly went into effect.
An article on the Hamas website noted that Hamas Political Bureau head Ismail Haniyeh discussed the ceasefire with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov on Friday. The two determined to continue their conversations in order to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 30, 2019)