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Israel: 'Protective Edge' Isn't Over

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem say it will take patience, determination and steadfastness for Israel to emerge victorious.
By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/17/2014, 6:24 PM

Tanks near Gaza in Protective Edge
Tanks near Gaza in Protective Edge
Flash 90

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem said Sunday that the prime minister and defense minister will not hesitate to renew IDF activity in Gaza if the negotiations in Cairo fail to produce results.

"The members of the delegation are in Egypt,” the sources said. “There are two possibilities – arrangement of the ceasefire in a way that safeguards Israel's security interests, or renewal of the fire.”

The Israeli delegation will try to make the most of the ceasefire negotiations. “We prefer to reach the goals of the operation – restore quiet, damage terror infrastructures and demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. And right now, we are doing this in a combined campaign, both military and diplomatic.”

In any case, said the diplomatic sources, “we will not allow Hamas, which failed militarily, to reach achievements through the diplomatic route. We will not let that happen.”

"The operation has not yet ended,” the sources added. “We need patience, determination and steadfastness for Israel to emerge victorious from there.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday morning's cabinet meeting by emphasizing that Israel would not accept any ceasefire deal which compromised on its security.

Netanyahu said Hamas had lost the recent round of fighting in Gaza, during which it suffered "harsh blows", and vowed that Israel would not squander itsmilitary victory by capitulating during negotiations in Cairo.

"Only if there is a clear answer to Israel's security needs, only then will we agree to reach an understanding," Netanyahu insisted.

"If Hamas thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong," he said. "If Hamas thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong. As long as there is no quiet, Hamas will continue to suffer heavy blows."

"Hamas knows we have a lot of power but maybe it thinks we don't have enough determination and patience, and even there it is wrong, it is making a big mistake," he warned.