Israeli cabinet decides to continue Gaza operation

Photo: Israeli cabinet decides to continue Gaza operation / Arab-Israel Relations

The Israeli security cabinet decided on Wednesday to continue the ongoing military offensive against the Gaza Strip, Israeli Channel 10 reported, Anadolu agency reported.

"The Israeli army will continue to attack Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza and complete neutralization of the tunnels," an Israeli source was quoted as saying by the Israeli television.

The channel added that a senior Israeli commander said in a meeting with the heads of local authorities in southern Israel that they should prepare for additional days of fighting.

"The Israeli people must prepare for additional seven days of fighting," Sami Turjman, the head of the Israeli army's southern command, was quoted as saying, noting that the period is needed to destroy all tunnels linking Gaza to Israel.

Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip - from air, land and sea - with devastating bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the strip.

Over 1300 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed and more than 7100 others injured in the ongoing Israeli attacks in the blockaded territory.

Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rocket at Israeli cities in response to relentless Israeli bombardments.

At least 59 Israelis - 56 soldiers and three civilians - have been killed since the hostilities began.

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."

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