Herzog: We are strong and united on need to protect our citizens

Peretz vows to fight for solution to terror tunnels.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN,
January 29, 2015 03:09
2 minute read.
Tzipi Livni Isaac Herzog

Tzipi Livni speaks with Labor head Isaac Herzog in the Knesset. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni toured the Syrian border on Wednesday, hours after the attack that killed two IDF soldiers, and said that they oppose a withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

Herzog and Livni, who decided on the English name for their joint list on Wednesday, said the Golan would remain in Israeli hands. Herzog said that had been his opinion for many years even though he was cabinet secretary for prime minister Ehud Barak when he offered the Golan to Syria.

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“If someone in the Hezbollah thinks they can threaten us or divide us because elections are taking place, they will find out that Israel is strong and united on the need to protect its citizens,” Herzog said.

Livni added that harming Israeli soldiers or citizens would not be tolerated, suggesting that not only Hezbollah but also Syria and Iran would have to pay a price.

Former defense minister Amir Peretz, who is No. 8 on the Zionist Union candidates list, called for immediate action to deal with the threat of terror tunnels in the North and South, speaking in an interview with the Election Arena, an online video series featuring candidates conducted by The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister publication Ma’ariv.

“I am worried about the tunnel threat that has not been deal with properly,” Peretz said.

“Israel must invest in solutions for this problem so ground invasions will not be necessary.

I will fight for this just like I did for the Iron Dome missile defense system [when he was defense minister].”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said the attack was a part of a global struggle against terrorism such as the recent killings in Paris.

“This is radical Islamic terror trying to murder innocent people and Israel will not tolerate it,” he said. “We will respond in an uncompromising way to this kind of terror attack and Hezbollah should know that no one is immune from our response.”

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said “no one is interested in a third Lebanon war,” and that Israel has had bad experiences with military escalations on the eve of elections.

“I call on [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to bring calm through diplomatic moves,” Gal-On wrote on Facebook.

“The government cannot act impulsively as it did in the past. Getting stuck in the Lebanese mud will not serve our citizens’ interests. More and more force and bloodshed do not help anyone in Israel or Lebanon.”

MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) called on Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Yariv Levin to convene the panel to discuss the developments.


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