Reoccupation of part of the Gaza Strip - should the government agree to it would cost NIS 17 million per day, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

That sum would only be enough to cover the immediate humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population that would be under the control of Israel, the IDF said during a recent defense establishment discussion of the options regarding the Strip.

That assessment relates only to the specific section of Gaza the IDF is liable to capture if a major operation takes place. The amount was calculated about a year ago, when Israel was preparing for the possibility of recapturing the Strip during an escalation of violence there.

The basic needs covered by the money are those an occupying force is obligated to provide for under international law, such as baby formula, diapers and a basic food package for all residents.

The cost of these basic goods adds up to about NIS 500 million a month, and does not include any of the expenses associated with maintaining a large military force in Gaza, which would include reserve units.

"When the question is asked as to whether the IDF can capture the Gaza Strip, the official response is positive," a senior defense official told Haaretz. "Of course, it can, even though it's clear to all of us that it won't be a walk in the park. Time will pass and there will be many casualties, both on our side and among the Palestinian civil population, but the mission will be accomplished."

The IDF General Staff is currently not in favor of an extensive operation in Gaza. Despite the escalation in the last few weeks - one Qassam rocket was fired from Gaza Sunday and landed in the western Negev, causing no injuries - IDF officials see Hamas as being interested in continuing the current cease-fire, at least in the short term.