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Israel warns of possible Gaza ground operation as Hamas vows to defend itself

July 8th, 2014
02:59 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

An Israeli ground operation into Gaza “might become necessary,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told CNN’s Michael Holmes, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Tuesday.

On the same day, Hamas Foreign Policy Spokesman Osama Hamdan vowed that Palestinians would defend themselves against any “attacks.”

“If the Israelis continue their attacks, the Palestinian people will defend themselves. Not only Hamas – all the Palestinians,” Hamdan told Holmes.

“If Israel stops and there was a clear ceasefire, the Palestinians will deal with that. Without this, there is no chance for the Palestinians to live under the Israeli attack without acting against that attack.”

Steinitz, of course, echoed this point from the Israeli side, citing the rockets militants fire from Gaza into Israel.

“There is some crazy people on both sides, but the symmetry you are trying to depict is totally wrong,” Steinitz told Holmes.

Tensions between Israel and Hamas have been rising through tit-for-tat violence ever since three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered, and a Palestinian teen burned alive, allegedly as retaliation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Hamas for killing the three teens.

“No one has to prove or disprove what Netanyahu has said. Netanyahu is the one who is the sole responsible for proving what he has claimed. Hamas said clearly that we don’t have any information about what had happened.”

Holmes asked Hamdan repeatedly whether Hamas nonetheless approved of the kidnapping and murder of the teens.

“I am saying it clearly – we don’t have any information about what had happened there,” Hamdan said.

Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. ashok

    There was a time when the US had the moral force to intervene. With the failure of the Kerry mission, that no longer holds true. Tragic.

    July 8, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  2. jonusb

    So full of it. So if the Israelis pulled all their troops and called off anymore airstrikes, the rocket launches into the civilian territories would immediately stop? Yeah, right. And furthermore, if Hamas claims they "don't have information about how the three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered", have they at least CONDONED THE ACTIONS, like Israel has already done in response to the Palestinian teenager being murdered?

    July 8, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  3. Gene

    Israel has an estimated 200 nuclear warheads in Dimona. They have shown unbelievable restraint in going after their sworn enemies, Hamas and most of the Arab/Muslim near east. I hope and pray that they are never pushed to the edge where they are attacked on all fronts like in 1948 and have to think about using the bomb. If their very existence is threatened like in Nazi Germany they might have to resort to the unthinkable. Fortunately Israel is not ruled by madmen.

    July 9, 2014 at 1:33 am | Reply
    • Gert Vogelaar

      Israel has done nothing to come to an agreement, they only want to expand territory, based on what? As long as Israel occupies and steals the land of the Palestinians, there cannot be peace. In the end I think there will be a one state solution whereby the Jews and all other groups will live together. The problem is that Israel does not want to give-up their Zionist principles. Israel is not inclusive, they have chased-out hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948. This was an organized ethnic cleansing action, fully supported by David Ben Goerion. He defended these actions, since otherwise the whole process would take way too much time. So he opted for forcefully chase the Palestinians out! I find it normal that the Palestinians are resisting this. In Gaza you see an act of slow, step by step genocide by the Israelies, of course we cannot call it genocide if you execute it in this very slow pace. These fights will never solve the root of the problem, much less so the nukes that Israel obtained.

      July 9, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply
      • H. B.

        You either don't know history, or are trying to rewrite it, and putting your own anti-semitic view on it.

        The "Palestinians" never HAD the land. Claiming they did is a flat LIE. When the Jews arrived in their new home, Israel, the only people there were a few bedouin cattle herders, who were made full citizens of Israel. The land was scruffy and unproductive. There were no "Palestinians." After it became a country, Muslims flocked to the region to do jihad, and started calling themselves "Palestinians," when most of them were Syrians.

        What you're doing is reciting many things that Muslims did and claiming Israel did them. That and slapping your hate of Israel throughout.

        Israel wants to expand their territory? Really? Muslims do that, not Israel. You seem to forget that Israel GAVE the land of Gaza to your "Palestinian" friends. They even moved many of their own citizens from their homes in order to do it. Yet you call it "expansion"?

        Israel has no reason to consent to a two-state solution, because it's a solution only Muslims could want – to gain the stature of a nation, and continue waging even more war on Israel. Why should Israel consent to that?

        Israel is VERY inclusive. They do tend to get "unreasonable" about Muslims who keep trying to kill the Jews, though. I'm not a Jew, but I'd be welcome there, to live or as a tourist.

        Zionist principles? Please define them in detail. The principles really being fought for are Islamic ones – total global conquest, and with Jews as first targets.

        I have never heard that expelling people from a country qualifies as "ethnic cleansing". Ethnic cleansing is when you KILL people, not when you push them out.

        You ought to know about that, since you're probably a Muslim. Muslims do a whole LOT of ethnic cleansing, all over the world, and we can sometimes see them doing it, too.

        So everything you said was pushing Islamic lies on us. We no longer fall for those tricks.

        July 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
  4. Juan Roman

    I just saw the interview of the Palestinian (Osama) and the Israeli. The british interviewer asked if Osama "approved" the killing of the israeli children. In Palestine, "approving" means he gave the order to do it. But the british host was referring as if Osama thinks it was "ok" instead. The question was asked three times, but of course the answer was not clear. I was frustrated to see a host, apart from ignorant, did not take in account there is a translation issue in the mind of the person who was interviewed. Check the video again, and you would notice it. You have to realize not everybody has English as a native language.

    July 9, 2014 at 5:20 am | Reply
  5. cappuxpress

    Reblogged this on CAPPUCCINOXPRESS and commented:
    fresh developments

    July 9, 2014 at 6:35 am | Reply
  6. Histo Chabangu

    Gert do a bit more research and reading. Lets have established facts before we comment for heaven's sake. how are we supposed to live peacefully when we talk, argue and even end up fighting without knowing the truth!

    July 10, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply
  7. Uncle Sam

    Why can't Isreal just Nuke Gaza and destroy everything then go in and take over the land and Make Isreal one nation intead of having a country within a country. Commen Sence!!!!

    July 10, 2014 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • H. B.

      You are abysmally ignorant.

      July 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • inferencial

      Dear Common sence.......its actually spelt sense. No a bright idea.

      July 14, 2014 at 5:59 am | Reply
  8. RLTJ's

    We see a surge of fireworks. Its the same old thing, all over again and again. Nothing new. It's called feud.

    They cannot get at Israeli forces they hit defenseless civilians. That's how 3 Israeli teens have died. It could be another busload of tourists next time. So you see nothing is new. What has happened before could be coming again.

    What do people expect? Watch out.

    July 11, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
  9. RLTJ's

    The world can seat at the sides watching them kill each other.

    Or maybe an un-bias authority, if such a thing exists, should step in and whack left and right.

    July 11, 2014 at 11:47 am | Reply
  10. sarapereira0420

    The interviewer was just rude

    July 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  11. H. B.

    I hope everybody noticed that this guy, Hamdan, couldn't even give a straight answer about whether Israel has a right to exist. Not even something that basic. Calling for a simple yes or no. Instead he hedged and danced around it.

    He also danced around the question of whether Hamas had approved of the slaughtering of those three Israeli teens. Another yes or no question, hedged by him, for no reasonable purpose. We know, however, that Hamas actually praised the murderers. No amount of hedging can get the man around that.

    He even danced around what Hamas would want to do if Israel set down all its armaments and declared its willingness to negotiate. He stated several criteria, which would make Israel have to leave itself vulnerable to the Muslims, and said that IF they did that, Hamas would then "deal" with it.

    What he means by "deal with it" is that the Muslims would then wade right into Israel, kill as many people as they could, and take over the whole country for Islam.

    That's what "deal with it" means to Muslims.

    And I shouldn't have to repeat it, but when Israel became a country, there were no "Palestinians" living there at all. The land was dry and unproductive, and only some Bedouin cattle herders made a living there. They were made Israeli citizens. They're not a part of the problem. It's the Muslims, who came from all over the world, but mostly from Syria, who waded into the area specifically to wage jihad on Israel. THESE are the ones calling themselves "Palestinians."

    None of them can give us a history of their so-called nation, or name even one of its official leaders, because the nation never existed. Palestine was the casual name given to a region in the area, not a nation.

    But Muslims LIE. By now, we all ought to know that, since we've seen it demonstrated often.

    Because we in the West insist on this notion of peace and tolerance, we make ourselves immune to any suggestion that Muslims are violent and predatory. Even when we can SEE the violence and predation for ourselves, we deny it.

    How could such peaceful and tolerant people be so SILENT about the slaughter of the three teens? None are truly peaceful or tolerant. They can be inactive, and waiting to jihad, and they're all part of the support group for the ones jihading now. But peaceful and tolerant they are NOT.

    It's good to see, though, that the people ARE beginning to wise up. Just remember that those who would want to wage war on Muslims want to make another colossal mistake. War will backfire, and leave us vulnerable and weakened, which is why Muslims WANT us to make war on them. Thwarting them, however, is something we CAN do.

    There are many ways we can thwart them, but we FIRST have to recognize that Islam and Muslims are a very real problem. A problem that INTENDS to threaten our own existence.

    July 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Reply
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