Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Wednesday stated that Israel had strengthened its deterrence capability in the Gaza Strip in recent days, citing Hamas's decision to impose a unilateral ceasefire as proof of that fact.
Ya'alon rejected criticism from the leadership of Kadima who claimed that the government's reaction to last week's terror attacks and rocket fire from Hamas weakened Israel. Ya'alon said in an interview with Army Radio that the criticism actually was part of the "superficial and largely pathetic" power struggle for the leadership of Kadima between Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz.Both Livni and Mofaz had claimed that the government had weakened Israel and damaged the country's deterrence capability by negotiating with Hamas to prevent an escalation of violence in the South. In addition, the Kadima MKs stated that Israel should have immediately apologized to Egypt for the deaths of Egyptian security troops during a firefight between the IDF and terrorists on the border between the two countries last week.
"I am part of the decision-making process with Defense Minister [Ehud] Barak and Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu about the escalation in the South. In every aspect of life, you must think before you act, especially when it comes to authorizing military action. Our policy is clear - we do not negotiate with Hamas, unlike the Kadima government," Ya'alon stated.