Aharonovitch in emergency control center 311.
(photo credit: Public Security Ministry)
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch expressed dissatisfaction with
what he said was Israel’s restrained response to the bombardment of southern
cities with rockets, saying that a firmer response could have brought the
escalation to an end sooner.
“I would have liked to see a harsher
response, that would have resulted in an immediate cessation of fire on southern
communities,” the minister said.
He added that Israel could have struck
infrastructure in Gaza, killed terrorist leaders and had the option of taking up
a more offensive stance.
Echoing other officials, Aharonovitch added that
there was no formal ceasefire in place, but rather, an Egyptian-brokered
understanding that a cessation of rocket attacks would be met with a cessation
of air force strikes in Gaza.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee head Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) also called for taking more action against
terrorist organizations in Gaza before accepting a cease-fire.
the targeted killing of Popular Resistance Committee leader Zuhair Qaisi was not
enough. He said the IDF should have responded more harshly following a terrorist
attack on the border with Egypt in Gaza.
“It is unacceptable that there
are rounds of rocket fire every few months without a decisive reaction,” Mofaz
said. “The people of southern Israel are being held hostage. As prime minister,
I would negotiate with the Palestinians while employing a strong hand against
Islamic Jihad terror. Gaza is not a nature reserve and the terrorists who
work there are not protected flowers.”