Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that the Israeli army will continue its military operations in the Gaza Strip after the end of the ceasefire, and described the images of devastation in Gaza as a “good thing”.
Speaking to Yedioth Ahranoth newspaper, the far-right politician said that Israel must ensure the security of Israeli citizens, no matter how many hours and days it takes. “The truce will end at midnight and I have no doubt that the army will continue its operations with full force, and then we’ll see results.”
When asked about scenes of massive destruction that have been broadcast from the Gaza Strip, he said “our soldiers did a good job.” The military, he added, has “full authority” to achieve the goals set by the Israeli cabinet.
Meanwhile, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said that he would obstruct any agreement for a ceasefire, adding that the goal of the military campaign is to dismantle Hamas rockets and destroy the tunnels. He stressed that pressure should be increased until those goals are realised. “It will take a month to destroy Hamas tunnels completely, not two or three days,” Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon claimed last week.
Israeli ministers and Knesset members of the Likud Party have expressed their opposition to any ceasefire agreement with the Palestinian factions in Gaza. According to Minister of Internal Affairs Gideon Sa’ar, “Israel should reject any pressure to extend the ceasefire and must continue the military campaign and expand it to undermine Hamas infrastructure.” His views were shared by a number of his colleagues.