PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Sunday at weekly cabinet meeting. (Photo: Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90) PM Benjamin Netanyahu arrives Sunday at weekly cabinet meeting. (Photo: Emil Salman/Pool/Flash90)


Talks in Cairo did not achieve breakthrough. Israel demands demilitarization in Gaza. Hamas insists on lifting the security blockade and threatens war of attrition.

Israel will never compromise its security in any ceasefire deal. Nor will it grant a political victory to Hamas after the terrorist organization suffered a crushing military defeat in Gaza.

This was the essence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s message at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.

Hamas Cannot Hide Military Loss with Diplomatic Win

Israel is demanding, first and foremost, demilitarization in Gaza, the prime minister said.

“Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach an understanding…. If Hamas thinks it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken. If it thinks that raining rockets will cause us to surrender, it is mistaken.” Netanyahu declared.

Yuval Steinitz, minister of Strategic Affairs and Intelligence, delivered a similar message on Wednesday at a press briefing in Jerusalem.

“What happened in Gaza explains the need for demilitarization,” Steinitz emphasized, explaining that this was the “core of the problem.”

To date, it seems that the talks in Cairo have not achieved any significant breakthrough. In fact, on Saturday, Hamas leaders threatened a “war of attrition” against the Jewish state, saying Israel will face a “long war” if it does not comply with Hamas’s demands, which include a complete removal of the blockade to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.

Hamas Threats Do Not Intimidate Israelis

“If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken,” Netanyahu stated at the cabinet meeting. “As long as quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to take very harsh blows. If Hamas thinks that we cannot stand up to it over time, it is mistaken.”

“In the stormy and unstable Middle East in which we live, it is not enough that there be more strength,” he continued. “Determination and patience are also necessary. Hamas knows that we are very strong but maybe it thinks that we do not have enough determination and patience, and here it is making a big mistake.

“We are a strong and determined people,” Netanyahu asserted. “We have seen this in the amazing revelations of strength and resilience in the past weeks on the part of both our soldiers and our civilians. We will continue to be steadfast and united until we achieve the goals of the campaign – the restoration of quiet and security for all Israelis.”

“As long as the quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to absorb very hard blows,” Netanyahu said.

Author: Atara Beck
Senior Writer/Editor, United with Israel