Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed the members of the high-level security cabinet on Wednesday night that Israel has rejected a Hamas offer of a ceasefire.
Instead, the members of the cabinet approved a plan to increase attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups in the Gaza Strip who have been raining rockets on Israeli cities.
The truce offer was made earlier on Wednesday through the Russian foreign ministry.
According to a report by the Saudi news channel Al-Arabiya, a delegation of senior Egyptian security officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday as part of an international effort to end the conflict between Israel and Gaza.
“The campaign is still far from over,” a cabinet member said. “Whatever we don’t accomplish now, we’ll have to accomplish in six months or a year from now. This won’t end in a few days. If the other side hasn’t surrendered after we strike all our targets, we’ll launch a ground operation although we’re not looking for that.
“Israel won’t stop and has no interest in stopping. We’ll act until they admit that opening fire was a mistake, just as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did after the Second Lebanon War in 2006.”
IDF spokesperson Hudai Zilberman said on Thursday morning that plans for a possible ground incursion of the Gaza Strip will be presented to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi for approval later in the day and then submitted to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other senior government officials.
The plans are being formed by the Gaza Division and Southern Command, Zilberman told reporters.
Meanwhile, troops from a number of IDF units, including the Paratroopers Brigade, Golani Infantry Brigade, and 7th Armored Brigade, have been deployed to the border.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)