Shin Bet: Amy far from achievement
Israel's security chief has conceded that a three-week-long offensive against the Gaza Strip has failed to prevent Hamas form rearming.
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Speaking at the end of the weekly Sunday cabinet meeting, head of Shin Bet - Israel's internal security service, - Yuval Diskin admitted that Tel Aviv has failed to achieve its goals, including disarming Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
"The operation did not deal an irreversible blow to the tunnel industry," said Diskin in an apparent reference to the tunnels Tel Aviv claims Hamas has been using to 'smuggle' into the Gaza Strip.
The senior official added that Hamas could still rearm itself within months.
Palestinians, however, say the tunnels are used to import food to the besieged populated territory which has been under an 18-month Israeli blockade.
The Israeli military carried out hundreds of aerial bombardment missions during the course of its 22-day Operation Cast Lead in and around the southern border town of Rafah, destroying hundreds of the tunnels as well as civilian homes.
"Not all of the tunnels have been destroyed. The second calm is restored and if Israel does not insist on the implementation of agreements on the issue, the situation along the Philadelphi route will return to its previous state within several months," Diskin added.
Israel and the United States signed an agreement on Friday that would prevent "Hamas rearmament."
Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27 allegedly to destroy Hamas's power to fire rockets at Israeli towns. After the bloody campaign which killed at least 1,300 people including women and children, Hamas's power to launch rocket attacks on Israel seems intact.
Israel declared a halt in its military operation on Saturday and enforced a unilateral truce on Sunday. However, it has kept its ground troops inside the Gaza Strip.
Hamas rejected Israel's terms of the truce and set next Sunday as the deadline for Israeli troops to completely withdraw from the costal sliver.
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