(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) on Sunday called on Israel to immediately halt negotiations with Hamas in Cairo.
"The situation in which we bite our nails while we wait for an answer from a murderous terrorist organization must stop," Bennett said, calling instead for Israel to act unilaterally to end Gaza hostilities.
In recent days, Bennett has been pushing a plan in the cabinet by which Israel would take some unilateral steps to provide humanitarian relief for the civilians of Gaza , while ensuring that the Strip's terror organization's are not given an opportunity to rearm.
Under Bennett's plan, Israel would open the Gaza crossings to civilian and humanitarian goods and expand the fishing zone around the territory. Any rocket or mortar fire from Hamas would bring a harsh Israeli response, according to the plan, showing them that they will not be rewarded for aggression, in what Bennett refers to as the "political extortion" formula.
"We must immediately stop the negotiations with Hamas and take our own destiny in our hands with a simple formula: humanitarian - yes, terror - no," Bennett said.
"For the people of Gaza, we will allow the entry of humanitarian goods, such as food and medicine. Against Hamas's weapon and tunnel industry, as well as its senior officials, we will act without limits and exact a great price for any fire directed at our people," the minister stated.
"Any other type of agreement that ties our hands will bring the next war closer," he warned.