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"I am afraid that our response to the crisis has blown a little bit out of proportion," Vice Premier Shimon Peres said on Tuesday during an address at the Negev Conference.
"Our level of deterrence has not been harmed. Israel has a very high level of deterrence. This does not mean that we don't have problems, but this is a problem that does not endanger our deterrence," he said.
According to Peres, "The Palestinians are jeopardizing their future. They will not be able to maintain a state in which soldiers are being kidnapped and Kassams are being fired."
Peres reiterated the official stance by which Israel would not negotiate with the kidnappers. "He who acts like a bully in the jungle should not be rewarded," he said.
In the first clear criticism of the government since his son Gilad was kidnapped eight days ago, Noam Shalit said on Monday that it was "delusional" that the state of Israel would attempt to re-establish its deterrence at the expense of his son.
Shalit was responding to comments made by Construction and Housing Minister Meir Sheetrit, who said Israel must restore its level of deterrence.
"Israel should have done that before the attack, when there was intelligence on tunnels being dug in the region. Despite this, we will not rush to conclusions and wait for the findings of the Eiland Commission [established to investigate the Kerem Shalom attack]," Shalit said.