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Israel ‘Planning Next Steps' to Avoid Disaster, Bennett Says

Bennett warns that alternative to ground operation was ‘an Israeli 9/11.’
By Ido Ben Porat
First Publish: 7/20/2014, 12:19 PM

Ground offensive in Gaza
Ground offensive in Gaza
IDF/Flash 90

Israel’s ongoing defensive operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, is critical to civilian safety, Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday.

“The operation is vital, and it is progressing as we planned,” Bennett told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio).

The IDF has uncovered dozens of terrorist tunnels in northern Gaza. Several tunnels led far into Israel. One was used Saturday to attack soldiers in the Negev, killing two.  

The operation’s necessity “goes beyond just the matter of tunnels,” Bennett noted.

“We’re definitely planning the next steps. If it weren’t for the ground operation, we would have woken up one day to an Israeli 9/11,” he warned.

“We’re paying a heavy price, and we will continue to pay a price, but we are preventing very serious attacks on innocent Israeli civilians,” he stated.

Coalition head MK Yariv Levin (Likud) made similar statements Sunday morning. "Israel ignored a 'terror fortress' in Gaza that could have led to terrorist attacks with unprecedented civilian casualties," he stated.

“The current operation is a war of necessity, there were no other options,” he said. “The brave soldiers fighting in Gaza are fighting in an operation that is vital to the security of Israel’s citizens.”