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Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:21:32 +0000
(JERUSALEM) -- Amid grumbling by right-wing politicians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that air and ground operations against the militant group Hamas in Gaza achieved "great military and diplomatic achievements."
Netanyahu went on to say that, "We set a clear objective: to deliver a heavy blow to Hamas. And I can say that Hamas has indeed been hit severely."
His remarks came a day after the two sides agreed to an open-ended ceasefire following seven weeks of intense fighting that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and destroyed over 17,000 Gaza homes.
The Israelis suffered 68 fatalities, all but four of them soldiers.
However, while mass reconstruction gets underway in Gaza, some of Netanyahu's critics at home have faulted him for not destroying Hamas, which remains a threat to Israeli security.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote in a Facebook post, "So long as Hamas controls Gaza, Israeli citizens cannot be guaranteed security, and reaching a diplomatic arrangement is impossible. ...Despicable murderers should not and cannot be trusted."
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