Sa'ar: Hamas has sustained heavy damage in recent days

Former nat'l security adviser Eiland says if quiet can't be reached, J'lem should consider "Defensive Shield" type operation in Gaza.

aluf giora eiland 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
While 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".
RELATED:15 Grad rockets fired into Israel from Gaza overnightHaniyeh: Israeli aggression will not break PalestiniansTeen in critical condition from Gaza anti-tank missileAlso speaking with Israel Radio, former national security adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland said that if quiet cannot be reached in the Gaza Strip that Israel needs to consider a more extensive operation similar to the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank.
Acknowledging 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.