Israel's Danon Calls for Army to 'Clean Up Gaza' Not Withdraw

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Israeli troops should press deeper into Gaza instead of withdrawing from the enclave, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party told NBC News on Monday. "I think the order should have been to move the other direction, to move into Gaza and to uproot Hamas," said Danny Danon, who was dismissed as Deputy Defense Minister on July 15 after criticizing Netanyahu for not launching a ground invasion early on. "We should have given the order to the army to clean up Gaza. Yes it's hard, it's costly, but there is no other option."

Danon joins others in the establishment calling for more aggressive action in order to stop Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza, launching rockets at Israel and digging tunnels into the country. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called on Israel to reoccupy the territory, and on Monday said the United Nations should take control of the Strip, according Haaretz newspaper. The war in Gaza has killed more than 1,830 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis. Israeli officials say that Hamas has fired more than 3,253 rockets at Israel since July 8.


Martin Fletcher and F. Brinley Bruton