Israel threatens to wage 'long war'; Hamas says not scared

Netanyahu said Israel has to be ready for a long war until the objectives of the current operation against Gaza are achieved. Hamas says Netanyahu's threats can do nothing to scare it or scare the Palestinian people

Israel threatens to wage 'long war'; Hamas says not scared

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas on Monday described earlier statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would launch a long battle against the Gaza Strip as an expression of the "defeat" he experiences at the hands of the Palestinian resistance.

"Netanyahu's threats can do nothing to scare us or scare the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

"The Israeli occupation will pay dearly for massacring Palestinian children and civilians," he added.

Israel's leaders on Monday threatened Hamas that their country would wage an extended battle against it.

In a joint televised address, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and army Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz said they are ready for a long war against Hamas.

Netanyahu said Israel has to be ready for a long war until the objectives of the current operation against Gaza are achieved.

Ya'alon said he would order the Israeli army to widen the scope of its operations against Hamas in the days to come.

He said the Israeli army would work to prevent Hamas from arming in the future.

Gantz, for his part, said the Israeli army would hit harder at Hamas and also destroy the tunnels of the Gaza Strip.

Gaza's death toll rises to 1069

Nine Palestinians were killed and 70 others injured on Monday by a series of Israeli attacks on different parts of the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian Health Ministry official said.

"The new fatalities bring death toll in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of Israel's ongoing operation against it on July 7 to 1069," Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

He added that 6350 more Palestinians were injured by Israeli strikes and artillery shelling since the beginning of the war.

Al-Qodra said five Palestinians were killed and 50 others injured by the latest Israeli strike on an apartment building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Jabalia.

He added that three more Palestinians were killed by a strike on the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, while a Palestinian was killed by a third strike on a Palestinian refugee camp.

At least ten Palestinian children were killed and 45 others injured on Monday by Israeli shelling of the western Gaza City Al-Shati Camp, a Palestinian Health Ministry official said.

The official, who asked not to be named, added that the bodies of at least ten children arrived at Al-Shefaa Hospital, having been killed by an Israeli strike on a camp public park.

He added that 45 injured victims had also arrived at the hospital, describing the conditions of some of the victims as "serious".

5 Israeli troops killed in Gaza: Army

Five Israeli troops were killed in combat in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said on Monday.

It added that the new fatalities bring to 48 the number of Israeli troops killed in Gaza since the beginning of Israel's war on the Palestinian enclave on July 7.

The army said in a statement that the five troops were killed in combat throughout Monday.

It said a sergeant from Jerusalem was killed in battles northern Gaza, while four more troops were killed by a mortar on the border of the Gaza Strip.

Qassam Brigades, the military arm of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, says it has killed a total of 103 Israeli troops so far and captured others.

China calls for ceasefire

China has called for a ceasefire in Gaza and pledged support for any step towards an end to the bloodshed.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, the country’s special envoy on the Middle East Wu Sike said the conflict had claimed a lot of lives and caused huge financial damage.

He said China is “extremely worried” by the worsening humanitarian crisis.

“China is ready to do anything to support a truce in Gaza,” he said. “We promote every step taken by the international community in its efforts for a ceasefire. For the time being, we prioritize securing a truce and ending the violence.”

Kerry: Hamas must disarm

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of State John Kerry has described diplomatic efforts to halt the violence in Gaza as explosions continued to rock the Palestinian territory.

Talking to journalists in Washington D.C. on Monday, Kerry reiterated President Barack Obama’s statement that any lasting settlement must include the disarmament of Hamas.

He has just returned from Paris and the Middle East, where the U.S., Egypt, Turkey and other partners attempted to broker a lasting ceasefire in the run up to Eid, the celebrations marking the end of Ramadan.

Despite renewed shelling and fighting on Monday, Kerry noted that the momentum generated by the humanitarian ceasefire would be the best way to achieve a sustainable ceasefire that addressed long-term and underlying concerns. 

A 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire succeeded as a result of the discussions, said Kerry, who added that “misunderstandings” resulted in the breakdown of the truce.

He said the ceasefire had been primarily struck to allow Israel and the Palestinians to work through an Egyptian initiative for solution of crisis.

Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long operation "Cast Lead."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Temmuz 2014, 23:18

Muhammed Öylek