Netanyahu: We can’t promise lasting calm

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, summing up the 50-day operation against Hamas, said Wednesday that the ceasefire marked a tremendous military and political achievement. Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, who addressed the televised news conference after him, were at pains to rebuff the broad popular criticism of how they managed the war. All three held back from saying the war was over or trumpeting an Israeli victory. Hamas was sorely beaten and reached a ceasefire without any of its terms being accepted, Netanyahu said. He also warned that it was too soon promise lasting calm. There is still a month to go for testing the truce before negotiations begin on an accommodation. “Destroying a terrorist organization is not an easy task. But if it goes back to shooting – even if it is only a trickle – Israel will hit back seven times harder before.” 

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