Rightwing politicians slammed the ceasefire reached Saturday night between Israel and Hamas, saying it would enable the terror organization to regroup and continue its belligerence.
By: World Israel News Staff
The ceasefire reached Saturday night with Hamas is bad for Israel because it allows Hamas to dictate the terms of the conflict and to regroup before the next round of clashes, politicians on the right said Sunday.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, said that Hamas was dictating the pace of the conflict and called the ceasefire “a serious mistake.”
In an interview with Kan Radio Sunday morning, Bennett called to “demilitarize” the Gaza Strip and said that he had presented Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plan to do that.
Bennett referred to his plan as “very sophisticated, surprising and different” as well as “including military, civilian and political processes.”
In another radio interview with Kol Baramah, Bennett said that evacuation of parts of the south might be necessary.
Bennett said that he was ready to do anything required, even temporarily evacuating communities adjacent to Gaza Strop, in order to enable IDF forces to launch a major military operation without having to worry about exposing the residents to the dangers of warfare.
Bennett said that he had no intention of publicly censuring Netanyahu when asked about the way the prime minister was dealing with the situation in the south.
But the education minister did say that 100 days of arson attacks and rocket fire could not continue to be met with restraint on the part of Israel.
Bennett: Restraint resulted in current escalation
Bennett also said that Israel’s restraint regarding the incessant waves of bomb-laden kites and balloons that have set tens of thousands of acres of forests and crops on fire in the south has resulted in the current escalation.
Bennett said that he has consistently called to shoot to kill teams of Gazans that launch kites and balloons with the purpose of setting fires in Israel.
He rejected the idea that adopted such a policy would lead to escalation and that the opposite was true. If Israel had adopted a zero-tolerance strategic from the outset it might have prevented the present situation.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, also of Jewish Home, said on Sunday in an interview on Kan Radio that he was going to visit the communities near the Gaza Strip and therefore would not participate in the weekly cabinet meeting.
The minister explained that a visit by senior officials to the south reinforces the morale of the residents. “If we do not come to visit, it harms strength and resilience,” Ariel said.
Asked how he would respond to residents who asked him to explain the government’s policy, he replied that he would not even try.
‘I cannot explain the government’s policy’
“I cannot explain the government’s policy because what I do not understand – I cannot explain,” he stated.
“A ceasefire is not good for Sderot and not good for the Jewish people. We are allowing Hamas to organize for the next round, which will be in a week or in two hours, and we are the ones inviting it,” he said.
Mayor of Sderot Alon Davidi also criticized the ceasefire.
“We have bad feelings about this fake ceasefire,” he said. “Hamas is the one who decides when to open fire and when to reach a ceasefire. I call on the prime minister and the other members of the security cabinet to come to the south to be with the residents here.
“They need to hear first-hand what the residents are feeling after the worst weekend here since Operation Protective Edge [in 2014],” he demanded.