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Why Israel is wary of getting into another Gaza war

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The pressure is on

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel must act prudently and responsibly to preserve a calm that has been a "blessing" for Israelis. Still, the pressure is still on him.

"The idea of attrition isn’t acceptable to me," Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said, commenting on the rockets out of Gaza on Thursday. "We need to respond aggressively and hit infrastructure."

But without major casualties from the rocket attacks, Israel may have a hard time drumming up diplomatic support for a major push into Gaza.

"I don’t think Israel is isolated, but a war could speed up the process of isolation," says Gershon Baskin, the codirector of the Jerusalem-based Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information. "The world won’t be so happy of another Cast Lead going on in Gaza," he said referring to the operation nickname of the Gaza War.

Israel is also facing increasing pressure from the international community to advance the peace process and stave off a diplomatic confrontation over Palestinian efforts to seek international recognition of a state on the 1967 borders.

"There is a need and an opportunity for bold action to move toward a two-state solution," US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a press conference today in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

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