Head of Meretz Zehava Gal-On criticized Israel's withdrawal from its operation in the Gaza Strip, saying that the move, without a cease-fire agreement and a larger political peace process would only strengthen Hamas.

"A unilateral withdrawal without a cease-fire agreement that would also include a framework for diplomatic negotiations is a return to Netanyahu's old strategy: managing the conflict militarily in a controlled manner so long as there are no peace talks," Gal-On said. 

"Instead of strengthening moderate Palestinian elements in the framework of talks which would pressure Hamas, and instead of realizing that a political solution to Gaza runs through Ramallah, the political process is rejected and as a result Hamas is strengthened," she said.

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