Naftali Bennett, the education minister and member of the security cabinet, dismissed the attempts to reach a cease-fire with Hamas after a weekend barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and an overwhelming IDF response.
“I don’t believe that we should allow Hamas, after 100 days and over 200 rockets, to dictate conditions to us.
Whoever allows this will quickly discover that there is no cease-fire,” Bennett said in an interview with Army Radio Sunday morning.
According to unconfirmed reports late on Saturday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed to a truce with Israel.
Naftali Bennett examines the ruins of a home in Sderot that was his by a Hamas rocket (Naftali Bennett Spokesperson)
The reports said the truce was achieved thanks to mediation efforts made by Egypt and other international and regional parties.
While the rocket fire continued overnight, as of Sunday morning, the barrages had ceased, and communities in Israel’s Gaza border region returned to normalcy. Schools were open and the restrictions that had been placed on public gatherings had been lifted.
“Anyone who practices restraint in the face of violation of our sovereignty and prevents a thorough military operation, is essentially decreeing that we will remain in an ongoing war of attrition,” said a statement released by Bennett’s office on Sunday. “We have to allow the IDF to act forcefully, with sophistication and thoroughly.”
“I made clear two months ago: Restraint leads to escalation,” Bennett said.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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