Ya'alon: Our response to terror has strengthened Israel

Strategic affairs minister rejects Kadima criticism: "Hamas would not beg and initiate a ceasefire if it thought that Israel was weak."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 24, 2011 16:09
1 minute read.
Ya'alon poses in front of a picture of Menachem Be

yaalon begin pic 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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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.

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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.

"Hamas would not beg and independently initiate a ceasefire if it thought that Israel was weak," Ya'alon said in the interview, adding that the organizations involved in the Eilat terror attacks paid a heavy price for their actions. "The leadership of the People's Resistance Committee's were assassinated precisely right after the terror attack."

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