Politicians from across the political spectrum urged Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to respond to Hamas breaking the cease-fire by retaliating with great force.
Ministers and MKs said that following the renewed rocket attacks, Israel should give up attempts to reach a more extended truce and instead enable the IDF do everything necessary to protect the nation’s citizens.
“Quiet can no longer be achieved by diplomatic means, only by military means,” said Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, who is a member of the eight-member security cabinet.
Taking control of the Gaza Strip is the only remaining choice after diplomatic efforts to restore quiet failed, Erdan (Likud) told Army Radio.
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, who is also a security cabinet member, warned against showing weakness to Hamas, which he said would harm Israel’s deterrence.
Hamas would never give up its hope of destroying the Jewish state, he said.
“We cannot judge our enemies through Western eyes,” he said at a memorial ceremony for victims of the Second Lebanon War. “They do not desire quiet, serenity, peace and democracy. Our values are not their values.”
Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi colleague, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, said, “We must pound Hamas until it is defeated” and “deal a heavy blow to the terrorists” to reinstate a sense of security to Israel.
Even MKs on the Left pushed Netanyahu to use more force. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said the prime minister’s job was to provide security and complete quiet to residents of the South.
“If as Netanyahu said, Hamas has been vanquished, he should reach a diplomatic deal under the best terms possible for Israel,” Herzog said. “But if the government will surrender in order to bring about a fake quiet like we had until today, it would prove that it is a weak government that has failed.”
Labor MK Nachman Shai said Netanyahu should end negotiations with Hamas.
“No more talking, shoot,” Shai said. “That is the only language Hamas understands.”
But Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) warned against recapturing the Gaza Strip.
Israel had no desire to control the Palestinians who live there, he said.
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