(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima)
called for the government to “stop the war of attrition” and destroy Hamas’
infrastructure, during a tour of southern cities hit by rocket fire from Gaza in
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“Israel is dealing with terrorist attacks, and the
government must decide if it is continuing to wage a war of attrition, or if it
will begin to use its deterrence capabilities by attacking the heads of Hamas in
order to destroy the organization and bring its downfall,” Mofaz said during the
committee’s trip to Ashdod, Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi.
continue with a war of attrition in which every six months we have another round
of fighting,” he added.
“Over a million citizens are under threat from
thousands of missiles and rockets.”
MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) pointed out
that “we did not hear even a weak condemnation of the terrorist attack and
rockets from the Palestinian Authority. Launching rockets from Gaza must be part
of the reconciliation between Hamas and the PA.”
Dichter also called for
the government to quickly buy and build more Iron Dome missile defense
“The fact that there are only two [Iron Dome] batteries is
unacceptable,” Dichter said. “Students lying under school desks while rockets
fall are like ostriches burying their heads in the sand.”
MK Amir Peretz
(Labor) said the government was supposed to buy 13 anti-missile batteries, and
added that the government should find a way to pay for it even if it does not
receive adequate funds from the US for the purchase.
Mofaz added that “we
cannot rely on technology,” even if the Iron Dome missile defense system is
“The State of Israel must deter Hamas and not rely on
temporary medicine in the form of the Iron Dome, which is not a magic solution,”
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said.
Peretz also warned that “unlike in
previous rounds of fighting with Hamas, this time there is potential for a
crisis with Egypt.”
“We must make an effort in order to preserve the
peace treaty and strengthen the security cooperation with Egypt in order to
improve its hold on the Sinai,” Mofaz said.
Knesset Speaker Reuven
Rivlin, who joined the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s trip, said “peace
with Egypt is a mutual interest for both states. Israel cannot have policies for
two states at the same time: one the southern state that absorbs rockets, and
another, the quiet northern state.”
Mofaz and Rivlin also said the
government must continue building the fortified underground emergency room in
Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center.
Rivlin called the delay in
construction an “outrage.”