Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 28, 2014. Israel's top political and defense leadership on Monday night defied international calls for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, determining to continue the massive offensive there until the risk posed by Gaza militant groups is "neutralized." (Xinhua/JINI)
JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Israel's top political and defense leadership on Monday night defied international calls for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, determining to continue the massive offensive there until the risk posed by Gaza militant groups is "neutralized."
"We must be prepared for a prolonged campaign," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a joint televised press conference with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
"The campaign will not end until we neutralize the tunnels whose sole purpose is killing our citizens . .. We will continue to act with force and discretion until our mission is accomplished," he said, adding that any ceasefire agreement will have to include "the disarming of terror organizations and demilitarization of the Gaza Strip."
Earlier on Monday night, the Israeli military said that Gaza militants attempted to infiltrate into Israel from the northern Gaza Strip through a cross-border tunnel.
Israeli media reported casualties among the Palestinian forces. A few hours earlier, a Gaza mortar shell reportedly killed four people in the regional council of Eshkol in Israel's Southern District and wounded 17 more. Hamas took responsibility for the fire.
Netanyahu's speech shattered any hope of a swift end to the 21- day-long raging conflict between Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement, which so far has claimed the lives of more than 1,050 Palestinians, over 70 percent being civilians, and 50 Israelis.
JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday criticized the U.N. Security Council's call for ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, saying it strengthens Hamas and neglects Israel's security needs.
In a telephone talk with the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Netanyahu slashed at Monday's call by the council for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire." Full story
UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged the Israelis and Hamas to renew a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and called on those responsible to "step back from provoking or inflicting yet more tragic violence on civilians there."
"The secretary-general calls on the parties to renew a humanitarian pause in Gaza and reiterates his demand for a durable ceasefire that could set the ground for the start of comprehensive negotiations," said a statement issued here by Ban's spokesman. Full story