As tensions on the Gaza border continue to smolder, and as Hamas continues to pursue greater influence in the West Bank, the terror group remains a very real threat to start a new conflict with Israel at any time. However, The Jerusalem Post's Yaakov Lappin reports, Israel says that the next conflict with Hamas will be the terrorists' last:
The next war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza will be the last for the Islamist regime, a senior source in the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, though he stressed that Israel will not be the side to initiate hostilities.
Israel has no desire to control the Gaza Strip, the source said, but it will not tolerate an endless “war of attrition” on the part of Hamas.
The next clash must be the last from the point of view of the Hamas regime. We [Israel] must not initiate war,” he added, but said a future outbreak of hostilities is unavoidable...
Speaking on Wednesday, the defense source described Hamas as a growing threat. Any attempt to present it as a pragmatic entity that can be guided into recognizing Israel is “nonsense,” the source said.
“We see how they are educating the next generation. We see the brainwashing in the Gaza Strip, and how the budget is allocated. Hamas receives funds from the international community and collects taxes. None of this goes to Gazan residents. All of their money goes to building up force and arming themselves. Their media make clear that there is only one aim for Hamas, and that is destroying the State of Israel,” he said.
The idea that Hamas can be made into a pragmatic force is comparable to asking whether a “cannibal can turn vegetarian,” said the source.
“We see their efforts at building up military force. The next conflict is inevitable,” he stated.