aluf giora eiland 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Education Minister Gideon
Sa'ar told Israel Radio on Saturday that Hamas has sustained heavy damage from IDF operations in
recent days. The IDF continue to strike Hamas, he added, "we will not
permit sporadic shootings or the disruption of life" inside Israel.
deflecting questions about a new IDF operation in the Gaza Strip
similar to Operation Cast Lead, Sa'ar said: "We won't give up our right
to defend ourselves," and will continue to operate, under full
consideration, to implement a principle of defending our citizens".
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On Friday, Sa'ar said that the recent escalation in rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza do not pose a danger to school children in the western Negev.
In a conference call with the foreign press, Sa’ar stated that the western Negev “is an area that over the past years we have worked systematically to establish protection for it and these schools are built up to security standards. In farther away places like Ashkelon the situation is different.”
Sa’ar said the real danger that would be faced by school children in the western Negev is on the way to and from school, a day after a 16-year-old student was critically injured when his school bus was hit by an anti-tank missile. No other children were on the bus at the time it was hit.
Sa’ar said there won’t be any mass school cancellations after Thursday’s incident, in that “today [Friday] was the last day of learning before the Passover vacation and this was the last day for primary schools, kindergarten and high schools. We are trying to do the utmost so that children will continue to study, and only to make changes in the most extreme circumstances.” Sa’ar added that earlier on Friday he sent a letter to a number of former Education Ministries in other countries around the globe in which he criticized “terror that is aimed to hurt and kill kids.”
Also Saturday, former national
security adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland said in an interview with Israel Radio that if quiet cannot
be reached in the Gaza Strip, Israel needs to consider a more
extensive operation similar to the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in
the West Bank.
the possibility that both Israel and Hamas want to avoid a serious
escalation, Eiland said that if such a calm does not prevail, Israel
should conduct a more extensive operation in the Strip.
There are two options for such an operation, he explained. One is to
strike Hamas with the goal of establishing deterrence against the
continued firing of rockets and mortars. The second option, he said, is
to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza. He warned, however, that whatever
regime replaces Hamas may very well be worse than the current situation.
If a more extensive operation is embarked upon, Eiland said, the most
important thing is that Israel needs to define its goals, specifically
what it wants to achieve and to plan how it can accomplish it. He
pointed to the Second Lebanon War as an example of an operation where
such an approach was not taken.
He added that if such an operation embarked upon, that there will no
doubt be a heavy price paid by Israel. If it results in quiet, however,
then it would be worth stopping the current situation of constant fire
that we have today.
Eiland said that the best situation Israel can expect from Hamas is a
quiet similar to that enjoyed on the Lebanese border in the past five
years since the Second Lebanon War in 2006.