Mofaz: PM has left Israel powerless against terror

MK says Netanyahu gov't should have apologized immediately to Egypt; rejects criticism of IDF southern commander over Eilat attacks.

August 23, 2011 09:19
2 minute read.
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni (right) and Shaul Mofaz

mofaz livni. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government has left Israel powerless this past week as terror wore out its people, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said Tuesday morning in an Israel Radio interview.

Mofaz said that it was a mistake to not apologize immediately to Egypt for the death of its soldiers and to not say that it wants to keep the peace between the two countries.

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The MK also responded to criticism of OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo following last week's attacks near Eilat, saying Russo is one of the best officers in the IDF and adding, "We all make mistakes [when confronted with) a complicated reality and Russo should continue in his position."

Earlier this week, during a tour of southern cities hit by rocket fire from Gaza, Mofaz (Kadima) called for the government to “stop the war of attrition" and destroy Hamas’s infrastructure.

“Israel is dealing with terrorist attacks, and the government must decide if it is continuing to wage a war of attrition, or if it will begin to use its deterrence capabilities by attacking the heads of Hamas in order to destroy the organization and bring its downfall,” Mofaz said during the committee’s trip to Ashdod, Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi.

On Monday, a senior diplomatic official said Israel has not entered a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, and will continue to take action to thwart any terrorist action, be it the firing of rockets or attempts to infiltrate Israel coming from the Gaza Strip,

At the same time the official said if there were quiet from the other side, Israel would not initiate a major military action inside Gaza. This decision, he explained, was motivated by a number of factors, including the situation in Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the number of Iron Dome batteries Israel could deploy.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers concluded at a  3 a.m. meeting on Monday that
Israel will not respond to the attacks from Gaza with a large-scale operation.

Diplomatic sources expressed concern that escalation in the South could upset Egypt and and hurt Israel at the UN vote for Palestinian statehood in September.

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