Netanyahu: Time to stop restraint policy

Likud leader says Israel must start taking aggressive approach toward Hamas.

netanyahu 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
netanyahu 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that Hamas was busy planning the next major rocket attack-and not just on Sderot. In an interview with Army Radio, Netanyahu said that "Gaza won't necessarily continue turning into a second Lebanon, but that is what's happening." "The time has come for us to draw conclusions," he said. "We can't close our eyes and say, 'I'm showing restraint, everything's okay.' Everything is not okay." The Likud leader called on Israel to stop showing restraint and to take an offensive stance toward Hamas. "Our policy has stopped [its aggressive approach] toward Hamas and those who announce that they will destroy [us], and continue to arm themselves," he said. "If you think that the correct policy is to sit and shake their hands, I think otherwise. For the sake of security, we have to act." He added, "We receive condemnation in the UN every time we act, but on the other hand, they say to us, 'If the situation is so bad, why didn't you act earlier?' A policy of restraint is a bad thing, and it is necessary to act against bad things while they are still small, not once they've gotten bigger." Netanyahu also addressed Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's visit to Damascus and the possibility of reaching an agreement on kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit. "I expect and hope that the Israeli government will do what is necessary to bring back Shalit," he said. "But I have no doubt that while Haniyeh is in Damascus and meeting with Iranian representatives, the talks on Shalit will be very short, and the talks on attacking Israel will be very long."