Ceasefire with Hamas ‘hallucinatory,’ Bennett says

“Bombing an empty building and then feeling good, as if this is what is deterring Hamas, is nonsense – it does not work,” the New Right leader said.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded a much more severe response to Monday’s rocket barrage by Hamas on Israel and repeated his wish to become defense minister in order to “deal with Hamas properly.”

Israeli fighter jets struck over a dozen Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets across the Gaza Strip on Monday. Early Tuesday, tanks and helicopters joined the attack on the Hamas’ military. Israel also allegedly gave warnings ahead of time so that the buildings were unpopulated when hit.

This didn’t satisfy Bennett, who heads the New Right party.

“I expect the prime minister to give the IDF an order to sever Hamas from its capabilities” and to keep it that way, he told residents of Kibbutz Alumim in the south.

“Bombing an empty building and then feeling good as if this is what is deterring Hamas is nonsense – it does not work,” he asserted.

Bennett also opposed the idea of a ceasefire with Hamas on Monday night.

“A ceasefire at this time would be a hallucinatory ‘wind at the back’ for terror,” he stated. “There’s not a country in the world that wouldn’t exact a price for missiles on its citizens, and there’s not a country in the world whose citizens’ blood is forfeit as we’ve experienced over the last several days.”

Al-Jazeera reported overnight that Egypt had brokered a Hamas-Israel ceasefire, but Foreign Minister Israel Katz categorically denied it Tuesday morning.

“There is no ceasefire,” Katz said in an interview on Israeli radio. On the other hand, he added, “It may be possible to eliminate Hamas, but there is no real proposal to topple Hamas.”

Avigdor Liberman, former defense minister and chairman of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, joined Bennett Tuesday in blasting the IDF response as being too weak. Writing on his Facebook page, he said, “How does it happen that after a ‘powerful’ response, according to the prime minister, no terrorist was even scratched?”

Liberman, who resigned last November from his post after publicly disagreeing about Israel’s response to the Hamas terror activities, called for an urgent meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to discuss the events of the last few days.