Israeli PM, facing international pressure over a rising civilian death toll in Gaza, says he will not accept any ceasefire that stops Israel from completing the destruction of militants’ infiltration tunnels
Jerusalem/Gaza : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said Israel will continue to destroy underground tunnels in Gaza regardless of any possible cease-fire agreement even as the toll in the coastal enclave touched 1,363, reports IANS.
“We are determined to complete this mission with or without a ceasefire,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of a cabinet meeting held at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv, according to a statement from his office.
“I will not agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel’s security,” Xinhua quoted Netanyahu as saying in the statement. “(Islamist movement) Hamas’s capabilities could have enabled it to abduct and murder civilians and Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers while attacking from the tunnels, penetrating our territory,” the prime minister said.
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge commenced July 8. Israel said the offensive was launched to halt the rocket fire but later stressed on demolishing the tunnels.
As the operation progressed and Israeli forces embarked on a ground incursion to the strip on July 17, IDF personnel focused their attention on underground tunnels making their way into southern Israel, through which suspected militants allegedly planned to launch attacks against Israelis.