With just hours to go before the midnight expiration of the 72-hour cease-fire, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at a meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon that Israel will not hesitate to renew fire in Gaza if rockets land in Israel.
Yaalon added that "Operation Protective Edge is not over, and as we promised, it won't be until quiet is restored."
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu urged patience and determination, quoting Rabbi Abraham Issac Kook's dictum that “the eternal people is not afraid of a long road.”
Netanyahu's earlier comments came during an unannounced visit to Sderot where he met youth group members who volunteered during Operation Protective Edge to work with Sderot children who spent hours in bomb shelters.
“Your fortitude and resilience gives us considerable strength to use considerable strength,” Netanyahu said. “We are in the midst of a diplomatic campaign, and in a diplomatic campaign we need the same things [as in a military campaigns]: a lot of strength, patience, a lot of persistence and wisdom.”
Repeating what he said the day before at the cabinet meeting, and seemingly trying to prepare the population for likelihood that no agreement will be reached midnight and the Gaza operation will continue both through diplomatic and possibly military means, Netanyahu said in the turbulent Middle East it was not enough to have strength and power, but it was also necessary to have a great deal of patience and determination.
“We have it, in abundance, and you prove it,” he said to the youth group members,” before quoting from Kook.
Netanyahu used the same quote on June 20 in a statement to the nation he made on the day early in the ground operation when Israel lost 13 soldiers.
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