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      Yishai Hints That Ground Operation is Near

      Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that it was likely that Operation Pillar of Defense would continue – and be expanded as well.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 11/19/2012, 12:13 AM

      Eli Yishai
      Eli Yishai
      Flash 90

      Speaking Sunday night, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that it was likely that Operation Pillar of Defense would continue – and be expanded as well.

      “The operation must continue,” Yishai said in an interview on Channel Two. “It will be expanded as well. We are prepared for a land operation,” Yishai said.

      Yishai said that the war against Gaza terrorists needed to be “so painful and difficult that the terror groups will not think twice, but a hundred times before they fire missiles against Israel again.” Yishai is a member of the interior security cabinet, so he is privy to top-level government security decisions.

      Yishai also advocated causing major damage to Gaza's infrastructure. “Destroy and damage infrastructure, public buildings and government buildings. Do not leave them any place from which they can operate to damage Israel. We must be sure that Hamas will be spending many years in rebuilding Gaza, and not in attacking Israel,” Yishai said.

      With that, Yishai said, the overall solution to the Gaza issue would be diplomatic, not military. “Until that solution, however, we must continue with the operation and restore our stature. The terrorists must understand with whom they are dealing,” Yishai said.