MKs and ministers across the political spectrum spoke out in support of
Operation Pillar of Defense on Thursday.
On his way into an emergency
cabinet meeting, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said it was too early to know
when the operation in the Gaza Strip would end.
“It all depends on the
other side’s behavior, and when it will understand that it is wrong to continue
the escalation,” he said. “We can expect an escalation, and for us, all options
The IDF was prepared for many scenarios and was “determined to
change the rules of the game in the South,” Sa’ar explained.
For a timeline of the escalation in Gaza: click here
“Our goal is
to bring quiet and stop the insane situation Hamas brought here,” Intelligence
Agencies Minister Dan Meridor said. “I hope this will happen.”
and Sport Minister Limor Livnat said, “If Gaza rockets continue, Israel will
continue to respond, but I hope we won’t need to.”
Energy and Water
Minister Uzi Landau congratulated the IDF on the operation.
“I hope this
shows a change in policy: Instead of reacting, systematically chasing anyone who
stands behind terrorism,” he said.
Transportation Minister Israel Katz
warned that anyone who harmed Israelis could die. Israelis would not live in
bomb shelters while the leaders of Hamas roamed free and decided when to shoot,
“This day makes me proud to be Israeli,” Public Diplomacy Yuli
“The government brought back its deterrence and proved to
its enemies that we do not just speak, but act.”
Edelstein expressed hope
that the strikes will bring an end to rocket fire and quiet to the
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that if the residents of Sderot
could not sleep, neither could people in Gaza.
“The IDF’s actions were
inevitable. No country can allow more than a million of its residents to live in
shelters, and if we can prevent this, we must,” he said.
Minister Danny Ayalon said in an interview with CNN that Izzadin Kassam leader
Ahmed Jabari was responsible for Gilad Schalit’s captivity as well as for
thousands of rockets fired at Israeli schools.
“Since Israel unilaterally
left Gaza [in 2005] and left it under Palestinian rule, there was not one minute
of quiet for residents of the South,” he said. “It is the responsibility, not
just the right, of Israel to defend its residents, and we will continue to do so
as long as the security of our residents is harmed.”
that the operation’s goal was to bring quiet and security to the
Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich called for Israelis to unite in
the war on terror and for politicians to back the IDF.
“Ahmed Jabari was
an archterrorist, a Hamas extremist with the blood of many Israelis on his
hands, which is why, after the never-ending rocket fire at residents of the
South, killing him was justified,” she said.
Yacimovich called for the
government to behave responsibly and consult with the US and international
community to bring an end to the escalation and prevent a “dangerous
Former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni congratulated the IDF on
killing Jabari, saying he was responsible for the murder of many Israeli
“Israel had to take action not as a punishment, but as a
preventative action,” she said, speaking at a Institute for National Security
Studies conference in Tel Aviv.
Livni called for Israel to enlist the
international community to support the fight against terrorism while continuing
dialogue with pragmatic groups to reach an arrangement.
She also said it
was important to differentiate between Hamas, a terrorist organization, and the
“legitimate Palestinian Authority.”
Kadima MKs removed their signatures
on Wednesday night from a petition to hold a Knesset discussion on Thursday to
criticize government policies in the South, thus leading to the meeting’s
“From now, there is no opposition and no election,” MK Yoel
Hasson said. “We all must let the IDF defeat Hamas and bring back the
much-needed quiet in the South.”
Newly elected Habayit Hayehudi leader
Naftali Bennett said the targeted killing of Jabari was more effective than “a
thousand Iron Domes.”
“Israel made it clear today that the best defense
is directly striking the enemy that is shooting at you,” he said.
doctrine of defense must end. I call for the prime minister to complete the
operation in any way the army says will stop rocket fire on Israel.”
the far Left, however, some accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak of having ulterior motives.
Meretz MK Ilan
Gilon accused the two men of being” pyromaniacs,” and of escalating the
situation because of the upcoming election.
Hadash said: “The IDF
announced tonight that this is just the beginning. We say no to another election
war, no to unnecessary killing, and end the cycle of bloodshed.”
calls all those who want peace and for the citizens of Israel to stand up
against the effort to ignite a cynical election war that will bring death and
suffering of Israelis and Palestinians,” the party’s spokesman said.