BEIRUT

Middle East

Netanyahu: No truce until tunnels destroyed

An Israeli Merkava tank is seen at an army deployment area near the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 31, 2014, as smoke billows from the coastal Palestinian enclave. (AFP/Jack Guez)

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would dismantle the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire."

Netanyahu said Thursday that he would not accept any truce that won't allow Israel to complete its mission of destroying the sophisticated tunnel network, which has been used to carry out deadly attacks inside Israel.

Israel launched its air campaign on July 8 to stop unrelenting rocket fire from Gaza toward Israel. It expanded the operation with a ground offensive on July 17 with the primary purpose of blocking Hamas infiltration attempts through the tunnels.

 

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