The mayor of the rocket-battered town of Sderot unleashed a tirade against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Friday, just hours after Palestinians in Gaza resumed bombarding the western Negev with rockets and mortars.
Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi told Israel Radio on Friday that Ya'alon proved to be "a resounding failure in restoring security for Israel's citizens."
"Hamas doesn't feel that it has been defeated, and it has no fear of the IDF," he said. "It also is not deterred by the IDF."
The Sderot mayor said that the withdrawal of Israeli ground forces from the Gaza Strip sent the wrong message to Hamas.
"The enemy interpreted the IDF's leaving the Gaza Strip as a move that wreaks of cowardice," said Davidi, who is a member of the Bayit Yehudi party.
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett, who is a member of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, called for Israel to recall its delegation from the Cairo cease-fire discussions in response to the rocket fire.
"It is inconceivable that cease-fire talks will be held while Israeli civilians are shot at as a way to put pressure [on Israel]," Bennett said. "This moment is a huge test for Israeli deterrence for the years to come. The response must be harsh."
Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told the BBC earlier on Friday that if rocket fire resumed, Israel would have no choice but to temporarily re-occupy Gaza in order to defeat Hamas and demilitarize the coastal territory.
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