Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a Likud faction meeting, July 2 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel demands nothing less than a complete cease-fire from Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday before the weekly government meeting.
"We are in the midst of a campaign against the terror [Hamas] in Gaza. There has been an exchange of blows and this will not end in one blow,” Netanyahu said.
“Our demand is clear - a total cease-fire,” Netanyahu added.
“So far, we have destroyed hundreds of Hamas military targets. With every round of attacks, the IDF exacts a heavy price from Hamas. I will not reveal our operational plans, but they are ready.
Our goal is to restore peace to the residents of the south and the surrounding areas. This goal will be achieved in full,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke in advance of a meeting later today of the security cabinet to discuss further steps with regard to Gaza in the aftermath of last week’s violent flare up in which close to 200 rockets were fired at Israel on Wednesday and Thursday.
It’s unclear if Hamas stopped the rocket fire as the result of a mutual understanding reached with Israel, or if it was unilateral decision.
Lower level violence continued over the weekend, with Palestinians launching a number of incendiary kites and balloons at Israel, an IAF airstrike and the death of two Palestinians during violent border riots.
Egypt and the United Nations, have continued to pursue efforts toward a permanent ceasefire, that would include the reconciliation of the rival Hamas and Fatah factions, as well as an economic package for the rehabilitation of Gaza.
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who is a member of the security cabinet, said that Israel is not negotiating with Hamas under fire and that all the talks that have been held were between the Palestinian Authority and other envoys.
Israel is also not planning to do anything more than restore the situation that existed before the latest flare up with Hamas began at the end of March, Elkin said.
Separately, Netanyahu also spoke with the government about the Tel Aviv rally in Rabin Square against the Nation State law, in which protestors waved Palestinian flags.
Those flags conclusively testify to the need for a nation-state law, Netanyahu said, in reference to the newly approved controversial Knesset legislative that underscores that Israel is the nation state of the Jews.
Many of those who demonstrated want to get rid of Israel’s national anthem and the Law of Return for Jews to Israel, Netanyahu said.
They want to abolish Israel as the nation-sate of the Jewish people and turn into an Israeli-Palestinian state or a state for all of its citizens, Netanyahu said.
“We are proud of our country, we are proud of our flag, we are proud of our anthem. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. The individual rights of its citizens are well anchored in basic laws and other laws. It is now clearer than ever that we also need the nation-state law,” Netanyahu said.
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