Israel Undeterred by Warnings from Hamas

Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel said any deal regarding the future of Gaza taking place in Cairo, will first be contingent on the security needs of Israel, cautioning the militant of Hamas against going through with its threat of a long war if the demands of the Palestinians are not met.

With a ceasefire of five days set to expire late Monday negotiators were reconvening in Cairo to seek an end to the hostilities of five weeks that have cost the lives of over 2,000 people.

However, both sides are saying large gaps remain in reaching a deal for the long term that could keep peace between the militant groups in the Gaza Strips that are dominated by Hamas and Israel.

Hamas wants Egyptian and Israeli blockades for Gaza lifted and the establishment of an airport and seaport as part of any long-term halt to regional violence.

Israel launched its first offensive on July 8 following a surge in rocket attacks from Hamas that were crossing the border. The negotiators with Israel have shown little interest in sweeping concessions and called for the disarming of the militant groups in Gaza, a territory of more than 1.8 million people.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in remarks that were public made to his cabinet said that Hamas should not underestimate the resolve of Israel to battle on.

He told the cabinet that the only way Israel would reach any understanding was if there was a clear response to its security needs.

Netanyahu added that if Hamas believes that through intermittent rocket firing we will decide to make concessions, it is terribly mistaken.

He concluded by saying for as long as quiet is not returned, Hamas will absorb harsh airstrikes.

The offensive by the Israeli defense forces has gain broad support by the Israeli public. The rockets from the militants, of which many have been intercepted by anti-missile systems, have disrupted daily life, but caused very little damage and few overall casualties.

A Hamas spokesperson commented on Netanyahu’s words by saying the only way security could be achieved was to first afford security to the Palestinians, lift the blockade and agree to their demands.

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