U.N. Push for Gaza Cease-Fire Futile?

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CBNNews.com - ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has left for a week-long visit to the Middle East. He'll try to impose a Gaza cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

"To both sides, I say: Just stop, now," the U.N. chief said. "Too many people have died. There has been too much civilian suffering. Too many people, Israelis and Palestinians, live in daily fear of their lives."

Click play for more on the Gaza conflict with CBN News Terror Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

But Hamas isn't ready to give up its war against Israel, so Israel continues its attack on Gaza.

Israeli Forces Advance on Gaza Suburbs

For the first time since they pulled out of Gaza in 2005, Israeli soldiers have advanced to the suburbs of Gaza City. Thirty more Hamas gunmen were killed Monday, as the U.N. looks for a way to broker a cease-fire.

"They must agree to the elements of an immediate cease-fire. At the minimum, that means a halt to rocket attacks by Hamas militants and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza," Ban said.

One core issue in Israel's Gaza operation is the smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza and how to stop Hamas from using them to re-arm, threatening up to one-third of Israel's population.

Another core issue: restoring Israel's deterrence.

For Israel, Deterrence is Key

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said there will be no cease-fire without destruction of the tunnels used to smuggle weapons to attack Israel and tight supervision of the Phildelphi corridor between Egypt and Gaza.

As for Israel's message to Hamas, Jerusalem Post military analyst Yaakov Katz says deterrence is the key to the Israeli operation.

"Israel believes that if it hurts Hamas enough, it makes it pay such a heavy price, it can get Hamas to realize that it's just not in its interest to attack Israel," Katz explained.

More Fighting to Come

Katz believes that heavy fighting could be ahead, and even defeat won't erase the Hamas threat.

"They won't completely collapse," Katz said. "Hamas will try to hold on, remain strong and try to declare victory just by the fact that they managed to survive this war.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief

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