"Operation Protective Edge" to end in a few hours: Israel

Omar Zaazou, Monday 4 Aug 2014

Israel's defence minister says that "mission to destroy tunnels" should end soon - but that army will continue responding to rockets fired from Gaza

Moshe Yaalon
Israel Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon (Photo:Ahram)

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has announced that the campaign to destroy tunnels in Gaza will come to an end within the next few hours, according to Al-Ahram's Arabic news website.

The Israeli military said last week that the mission – dubbed Operation Protective Edge – would take several more days, extending a four-week aerial and ground offensive in the small, densely populated coastal territory.

"Operation Protective Edge has not yet been completed," Yaalon told an Israeli radio station on Monday.

"It will only end when there are no more rockets fired towards us. Our security apparatus will respond to all threats coming from these tunnels and all rocket attacks launched from Gaza."

The Israeli offensive against Gaza, which has included air, naval and ground attacks, has killed over 1,820 Palestinians and wounded over 10,000 since it began on 8 July, according to Palestinian officials.  

On the other side, Hamas – which has run the coastal enclave since winning elections in 2006 – has killed 64 Israeli soldiers in clashes and rocket fire in and around Gaza.

On Monday, Israeli minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear he is not willing to stop the 28-day military campaign in Gaza until "long-term calm" is restored, defying international pressure for a truce.

Egypt met with different Palestinian factions in Cairo on Monday to discuss their demands in hopes of finding a way out of the crisis.

Israel, however, has declined to send an envoy on the grounds that it will not enter negotiations with Hamas.

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