Israel FM wants to 'end' Hamas, says strikes not enough
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Friday that the aim of the ongoing Israeli onslaught against Gaza Strip was to finish Hamas, asserting that airstrikes are not enough to do that Anadolu Agency reported
"Time has come to put an end to Hamas' rule of Gaza," Liberman, the leader of the Yisrael Beitenu Party, said in an interview with Israel Channel 2.
"An aerial operation can't accomplish this," he insisted.
At least 111 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since late Monday.
More than 815 Palestinians have also been wounded in the aerial attacks.
Israel has launched a military offensive - dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" - with the stated aim of staunching rocket fire from Gaza.
But Liberman sent a new objective for the onslaught.
"Operation Protective Edge is the third operation in Gaza over the past five years and it should be the final one," he said.
The top diplomat suggested that a ceasefire would only allow Hamas to increase its stockpile of rockets.
"In 10-15 months we will be back for another round. We need to put an end to this," said Liberman.
Gaza-based resistance factions have continued to fire rockets into Israel in response to the unrelenting airstrikes on the besieged coastal enclave.
They have fired more than 600 rockets since Monday, according to security sources.