Former IDF Northern Commander: No Ceasefire with Hamas without Unconditional Return of Bodies

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Speaking to KAN 11 TV News on Thursday morning, following a night and early morning of rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, retired IDF Northern District Command, Amiram Levine, who is politically associated with the Machane Tzioni party and not a right-winger, insists there cannot be any ceasefire agreement with Hamas without “the unconditional return of the bodies”.

Levine referred to reports that negotiations were taking place before the rocket fire began on Wednesday night, towards an experimental two-week ceasefire with Hamas, which is hoped will lead to a long-term ceasefire. The agreement is to be signed by the end of August as reported by YWN-Israel. However, Levine was adamant, that the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin HY”D and Sgt. Oren Shaul HY”D, which are being held by Hamas, must be returned unconditionally before any ceasefire agreement is signed with Hamas.

Levine explained that Israel cannot permit Hamas to continue deciding when southern residents will have peace and when they will have to dodge rocket fire, stating at the end of the day, Israel will determine the outcome of the warfare and the rocket fire from Gaza will stop “since it will not be in Hamas’ interest to continue”. He added that the time has come for “decisive action by Israel” to bring an end to the warfare once and for all.

In a related matter, a senior IDF officer near the Gaza border, told military correspondents on Thursday morning it appears that another round of fighting with Hamas is imminent, stating the decision will be made by the political echelon in the coming hours.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)