Mofaz: IDF must destroy Hamas infrastructure in Gaza

Dichter calls for gov’t to deploy more Iron Dome batteries

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August 22, 2011 05:04
2 minute read.
Mofaz

Mofaz. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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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 recent days.

“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.

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“We cannot 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 systems.

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“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 effective.

“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.”


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