Hamas downplays talk of large-scale IDF operation in Gaza

As pressure mounted in Israel for a large-scale IDF operation in the Gaza Strip in response to Kassam rocket fire, Hamas on Sunday downplayed talk of such an incursion. Senior Hamas officials said that Israel wanted to avoid a "Winograd II" and that the losses the IDF was likely to suffer in such an invasion as well as the reactions of Arab states and the international community would deter a major assault. They said Hamas was unmoved by such threats, which were "for Israeli ears only." In response to a proposal by Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit to make an example out of a Gaza neighborhood and wipe it out, Ahmad Youssef, senior advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that the "approach of power and military might" had been used for dozens of years without any success, Israel Radio reported.