Following the Security Cabinet meeting on Thursday, during which it was decided to give the IDF the green light to continue striking out against Hamas, it is yet to be determined if and when a ceasefire will be implemented between Hamas and Israel.
Senior IDF commanders are signaling the military stands ready for a major counter-terrorism operation, should the world be given.
‘Chadashot’ News on Thursday evening reported that an IDF incursion into Gaza does not seem likely at present, for such a move would likely result in the deaths of dozens of soldiers, with others falling into captivity.
As reported, UN Mideast Envoy Nikolai Mladenov is continuing efforts to bring about a ceasefire, but based on the Security Cabinet’s decision, such an event is not likely to take place now, as Israel wishes to first ‘teach Hamas a lesson’ to avoid renewed rocket fire in the future.
The launching of the Grad missile from Gaza to Beersheba on Thursday has resulted in a new reality, and now no one is sure that the approaching military operation is avoidable, perhaps dependent on Hamas’ actions in the coming hours/days. True, as stated in the Security Cabinet, there is still consensus that a current entry into Gaza is not in Israel’s interest, because another military operation Israel will return to the same issue of future regulation of Gaza.
Sources involved in the affair estimate that dozens of IDF soldiers would fall in a ground operation in Gaza and several more soldiers may fall into captivity. As such, in addition to the measured attacks by the IAF, indirect diplomatic contacts between Egypt and the world are continuing between Israel and Hamas.
The same sources also claim that we may be at the point of no return, and that a gradual move to such an operation is only a matter of time. “From experience, reality becomes ugly, before reaching a great [ceasefire] deal,” they say.
Meanwhile, the special cabinet meeting at the Kirya ended on Thursday evening after more than three and a half hours of discussion including ministers and the heads of the security and intelligence agencies. In a statement issued by the Security Cabinet following the meeting, the Cabinet wrote: “The Cabinet instructed the IDF to continue to act with force against terrorist elements.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)