Netanyahu: We won't carry out large-scale Gaza operation

Diplomatic source says Hamas is trying to weaken state's international support: "Israel must do all it possibly can to achieve calm."

August 22, 2011 09:48
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after Eilat attack 311. (photo credit: GPO / Avi Ohayon)

Israel will not respond to the attacks from Gaza with a large-scale operation, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers concluded at a  3 a.m.  meeting on Monday to discuss the security situation.

Diplomatic sources expressed concern that escalation in the South could upset Egypt and and hurt Israel at the UN vote for Palestinian statehood in September.

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"Hamas is trying to draw Israel into fighting in the [Gaza] Strip, so as to weaken its power in the international arena in preparation for the Palestinian statehood decree in September," one senior diplomatic source told Army Radio. "This way Hamas will be seen as leading the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Despite Hamas's call for a ceasefire, they "are interested in leading to escalation and so Israel must do all it possibly can to achieve calm," he said.

Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel resumed on Sunday evening and continued into Monday morning despite reports that the Islamist group was seeking an immediate ceasefire.

Four Kassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip after midnight on Sunday landed in Sderot, the Eshkol Regional Council area and on the outskirts of Ashkelon. No injuries or damage were reported in the attacks. An additional rocket damaged a building in the Eshkol Regional Council on Monday morning and the Iron Dome anti-rocket shield intercepted one rocket fired in the direction of Ashkelon.

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