Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz this Wednesday stressed the need to declare a unilateral ceasefire “unconditional”, although he has made it clear that he sees an inevitable land invasion by Israeli forces, which will lead to a “temporary takeover” of the Gaza Strip “at some point”. .
After a week of bombings between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), the minister has declared that he is “against the terms” for a possible settlement with the Egyptian mediation.
“I am one of those who believe that we shouldn’t reach another agreement with Hamas. If Yahya Sinwar and Muhamad Deif argue tomorrow and want to show who is braver, they will break the agreement without blinking,” said he of the newspaper “Yediot Aharonot”.
With this in mind, he has indicated that if Israel “wants peace on the border with Gaza” there is no alternative but to launch an incursion into land to demilitarize the enclave by force.
“One day there will be no other option but to take Gaza temporarily, which will result in large numbers of casualties. That day has not come yet for many reasons, but I think it will come, if not now in the next few years. ” he added.
However, it has refused to give a specific timetable for a possible ceasefire. “The last thing I want is to give the other party information. I am not going to talk about whether it will be days, weeks or months. The uncertainty for the other party is also a tool in this war,” he said .
Gaza authorities have confirmed the deaths of 217 people, including 63 minors, in the bomb attacks on the enclave. Add to this the deaths of twelve people in Israel – including one Indian woman and two Thais – and that of more than 20 Palestinians in the West Bank as part of the repression of recent mobilizations condemning the offensive against Gaza and incidents in Jerusalem.
Tensions escalated on May 9 when Israeli forces again stormed the esplanade of the mosques – a place known by Jews as the Temple Mount – and even fired tear gas inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for Muslims.
Hamas then launched several projectiles against Jerusalem and its surroundings and prompted Israel to respond with a bombing campaign against the enclave, to which Palestinian factions responded by increasing their rocket fire despite mediation attempts from Egypt and other countries.
The rise in fighting was followed by an increase in clashes between Jews and Muslims in several cities in Israel and the West Bank, including beatings and lynching attempts, which raised large-scale alarms about the possibility of civil war.