JERUSALEM (Worthy News)-- Hamas defiantly vowed, after the killing of three of its senior commanders by Israel, that it would be "strengthened" in its quest "to lift the siege on Gaza" and "liberate Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who destroys houses and kills women and children." Meanwhile, Israel is closer to a full-scale ground operation than any point since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, an Israeli minister told Israel's Army Radio.
Israel continued its campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip as rocket attacks targeted Israel on Friday for a third day since a temporary cease-fire collapsed on Tuesday night with the resumption of hostilities.
Gilad Erdan, Likud's Communications Minister and Security Cabinet Member, said in an interview with Army Radio, "Israel is the stronger party, it is the party in control here, and so there wasn't much for Israel to receive apart from a long-term period of quiet. That is the achievement that we will receive, but in return we do not need to give anything more than humanitarian affairs."
"When will Hamas reach breaking point? There's no scientific formula," he continued. "At first Hamas wanted to come (to the table) with preconditions and at the end it came without preconditions - in the end it will reach breaking point."
He added that Israel was closer than ever to launching a full-scale ground operation, but cautioned "Will this happen tomorrow? It's not certain, since the price for this will be high, but we are closer today to a ground operation than we have been at any point since the start of the operation."
HAMAS VOWS TO LIBERATE JERUSALEM AND PALESTINE
Former Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh said on Hamas TV from Qatar, "We want to emphasize that despite the pain of their loss, the history of the Hamas movement has proven more than once that it is stronger after every targeted killing of one of its senior members."
"After a senior operative is killed, we immediately continue on our path without hesitating or stepping back," Haniyeh said.
"The Zionist enemy has paid a dear price that has been exacted by the fighters of the Az a-din al-Kassam Brigades both inside and outside Gaza," Haniyeh said. "Our people and our brave commanders have set a goal of lifting the siege on Gaza and liberating all of Jerusalem and Palestine from the neo-Nazi occupier who only destroys houses and kills women and children."