'Government is negotiating with Hamas under our noses'

Yesh Atid MK Jelin takes issue with using the term "trickle" to describe rocket attacks; Joint List's Ghattas calls Gaza a giant prison, says boycott is justified.

June 10, 2015 18:13
2 minute read.
Gaza Strip

Light streak trail is seen as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip towards Israel July 29, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Charging that instead of fighting terrorism forcefully the government is talking to Hamas, MK Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid), the former chairman of the Eshkol Regional Council near the Gaza border, on Wednesday took issue with the term “trickle” to describe recent attacks.

“This isn’t a trickle. Terrorism must be fought with determination and force, the same force with which we founded the country,” said in a plenum discussion.

“The residents of Gaza border towns deserve quiet and security and determination from the government so we can raise our children in peace like in any other place in Israel.”

Instead, Jelin posited, “There are negotiations between Hamas and Israel under our noses, via foreign embassies, and don’t try to fool us.

“I ask, in the name of Gaza-border residents: Why now?” he said of the alleged talks.

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan, responding in the name of the government, said Hamas, as the only effective body in Gaza, is deterred from attacking Israel and does not want an escalation.

“The defense apparatus does not recognize the concept of a ‘trickle,’ it knows shooting, and even one rocket shot is not acceptable to us, and in response, we give a harsh punishment,” he said.

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman, chimed in, repeating the accusation he’s made dozens of times since opting out of joining the coalition – that this government has surrendered to terrorism.

“Qatar is the main sponsor of Hamas and the Israeli government agreed to have the Qatari ambassador go to Gaza and distribute money for projects and strengthen Qatar’s grip on Gaza,” he said. “Egypt would never let the Qataris enter Gaza through its border crossing... This is a mark of Cain for the government.”

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On, however, said rockets from Gaza are the result of the government’s lack of policy.

“Not one military figure doesn’t admit that Hamas is the lesser evil,” she claimed.

“The time has come to understand that Gaza is not going to disappear and our interest is for it to be functioning and blooming.”

Joint List MK Basel Ghattas called Gaza “the largest prison in the world,” and that its conditions are the reason people boycott Israel.

“The Israeli government, which has its head buried in the sand, is responsible for what is happening in Gaza.

The boycott is only the beginning of a process that cannot be reversed. As long as Israel continues the occupation, the boycott will continue and justly so,” he said.

Ben-Dahan, however, said Ghattas’s remarks shame the Knesset.

“In no other parliament in the world does a member of parliament call to boycott his country,” he declared.

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