Hamas IDF Israel Gaza
Israeli soldiers stand on an armoured personnel carrier (APC) outside the central Gaza Strip as they fire mortar shell towards Gaza before a ceasefire was due. Reuters

Even as the nearly month-long offensive by Israeli forces in Gaza Strip shows no signs of dying down anytime soon, Israel has called for uprooting Hamas entirely from the region.

Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni urged an international agreement to wipe out the political establishment of Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip. "I don't want to leave a weakened Hamas if we can get rid of it altogether."

Lobbying for Palestine Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to be given control over Gaza, Livni said: "We have an opportunity for political change. It can come through international agreements on the disarmament [of Gaza] and placing Abbas in the Strip," according to local reports.

"With Hamas, one doesn't talk one shoots. You don't make deals with Hamas, you make deals against Hamas, which is what we are doing. The campaign will continue by our decisions, and through our initiative until we achieve Israel's objectives."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also vowed to press ahead with the onslaught in Gaza until the battle is finally over.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has said they are inching towards total annihilation of the sophisticated terror tunnels used by the Hamas fighters in Gaza.

"We are toward the end of our mission in the tunnels," a senior IDF official told Arutz Sheva.

The IDF has hit nearly 108 targets so far over the weekend alone.

The Israel-Gaza conflict has entered the 27th consecutive day as the death toll of Palestinians crosses 1,600. The IDF has said 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed since 8 July.