From the Jerusalem Post:
Moderate forces in Middle East bring new diplomatic opportunities for Israel, says prime minister; Ya'alon states: "Gaza does not look like it did 51 days ago."
Amid rapidly declining approval ratings, deep frustration among residents of the South, and harsh criticism from senior cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the nation on Wednesday the Gaza operation was a military and diplomatic success.
Netanyahu, speaking at a Jerusalem press conference alongside Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, said that “Hamas was hit hard, and did not get any of the things it demanded for a cease-fire.”
A sedate, low-key Netanyahu said that from the first minute of the operation he set out clear goals: To hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations hard, and through this to bring about a prolonged quiet for Israeli citizens.
“I can say that Hamas was indeed hit hard,” the prime minister said of the first goal.
As for the second, he was more circumspect.
“Will we get long term calm?” he asked. “I think it is too early to tell. But I can say that the blows to Hamas, and our ability to keep them from rearming by supervising the borders, increase the chances that this will be achieved.”
If there isn’t quiet and Hamas again starts a “drizzle” of rocket fire on any part of the country, he warned, “we will respond harder than we have until now. We are prepared for all possibilities.”