Netanyahu: Ground Campaign Might be Necessary After All
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that Israel was accepting the U.S.-Egypt brokered cease-fire with Hamas, saying that it would “provide an opportunity for the situation to stabilize and become calmer.” But on his Facebook page Wednesday night, Netanyahu wrote that despite the cease-fire, “it may be necessary for us to conduct a major and harsh military campaign” against Hamas – and if such a campaign would become necessary, Israel would follow through.
Netanyahu was responding to thousands of Facebook commenters who slammed him, along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, for failing to fully rout Hamas and engage in a ground campaign to destroy the terror group for once and for all. Netanyahu wrote that he understood the commenters' feelings, but that Israel needed to “take this opportunity to achieve a long-term cease-fire.
“As Prime Minister I have the ultimate responsibility to take the proper steps to ensure our security. That is what I have done in the past, and that is what I will continue to do.”
While Netanyahu was updating his Facebook page after the announcement of the cease-fire, Gaza Arab terrorists continued their rocket fire on Israel unabated. In the hours after the cease-fire was supposed to come into effect, the Red Alert warning system was activated in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, and towns near the Gaza border. Reporters on Channel One said that the sirens may have been “false alarms,” set off by celebratory gunfire in Gaza, but at 10 PM Wednesday, the Iron Dome system destroyed at least one Grad rocket fired at Ashdod.