Minister: Israel 'Closer than Ever' to Full-Scale Gaza Invasion
Communications Minister and Security Cabinet Member Gilad Erdan (Likud) has appealed for Israelis to be patient and to allow the IDF time to complete Operation Protective Edge, adding that the army was closer than ever to launching a full ground invasion of Gaza.
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio on Thursday morning, Erdan revealed that Israel did not yield to Hamas's demands during recent negotiations in Cairo.
"Hamas did not receive a single one of its demands and so it appears they have resumed firing," he stated.
Echoing sentiments shared by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late last week, Erdan said that Israel was not prepared to concede its position of strength by suddenly capitulating to Hamas demands. He also noted that the negotiations were not expected to have achieved any major achievements for Israel apart from a period of calm, and added that
"Israel is the stronger party, it is the party in control here, and so there wasn't much for Israel to receive apart from a long-term period of quiet. That is the achievement that we will receive, but in return we do not need to give anything more than humanitarian affairs."
"When will Hamas reach breaking point? There's no scientific formula," he continued. "At first Hamas wanted to come (to the table) with preconditions and at the end it came without preconditions - in the end it will reach breaking point.
He added that Israel was closer than ever to launching a full-scale ground operation, but cautioned "Will this happen tomorrow? It's not certain, since the price for this will be high, but we are closer today to a ground operation than we have been at any point since the start of the operation."