Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said the notion of reaching a political settlement with Gaza-based resistance movement Hamas was unfeasible.
Speaking outside the Knesset (Israel's parliament), Netanyahu said the idea of trying to reach a political accommodation with Hamas was "misguided".
He added that Israel's current Gaza policy stood between the notion of "deterrence and reoccupation".
"We can reoccupy the Gaza Strip, but who will take it afterward?" he asked.
Netanyahu has expressed the opinion that his government succeeded in "deterring" Hamas in its devastating 2014 war on the Gaza Strip.
"Southern Israel is now experiencing its most peaceful period since the 1967 Middle East War," he said.
He went on to assert that Israel had destroyed about 30 cross-border tunnels during the conflict, but said Israel would be unable to neutralize the tunnels indefinitely.
"Israel cannot prevent Hamas from digging tunnels [under the Israel-Gaza border]," he said. "But Israel can prepare itself to face [the dangers posed by] these tunnels."
"We cannot accept rockets being fired from Gaza towards Israel," he added.
"Close cooperation has been established with regional parties since the Gaza war," the prime minister said without elaborating.
Israel's 2014 military onslaught against the Hamas-run Gaza Strip left some 2,250 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured -- mostly civilians -- while leaving much of the enclave's infrastructure in ruins.
According to Israeli figures, at least 70 Israelis -- 65 soldiers and five civilians -- were killed during the conflict. -