Tel Aviv, Israel — At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at a press conference that the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge should conclude with Israel “controlling all of the Gaza Strip.”
“Israel must go all the way,” said the Foreign Minister. “A ceasefire is a tacit agreement that [will allow] Hamas [to] continue to build up its power.” He continued, “All the diplomatic formulations are, in this case, hurtful. … A full takeover of the Gaza Strip is Israel’s only course forward.”
Lieberman went on to call the ceasefire “nothing but a preparation for the next round” of conflict against Hamas. “It is clear that Hamas will use any ceasefire to make more rockets and smuggle in more explosives,” he said.
At 3 p.m., Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu terminated Jerusalem’s unilaterally agreed-upon ceasefire, ordering the IDF to continue to defend Israel against terror group Hamas. “After Hamas and Islamic Jihad refused a proposal for a ceasefire and fired dozens of rockets at Israel, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the army to carry out forceful strikes against terror targets in Gaza,” said a senior Israeli official.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called upon Hamas to stop its continuing rocket fire and accept the Egyptian plan for a ceasefire with the Jewish state. “I condemn Hamas for shooting rockets at the time Israel and Egypt are working in good faith to get a ceasefire,” Kerry said in Vienna.
Israel completely withdrew all military assets and civilians from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The unilateral disengagement plan, which was enacted by recently deceased Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, called for the forceful eviction of all Israeli citizens from Gaza in exchange for the hopes of peace with the Palestinians.