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We will not allow Hamas to strengthen its military capabilities, insists Israeli minister

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett [World Trade Organization/Flickr]
Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett, 16 January 2018 [World Trade Organization/Flickr]

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has insisted that the government "will not allow Hamas to strengthen its military capabilities during the current truce in order to get ready for the next military confrontation." He made his comments during a visit on Friday to the Eshkol Regional Council, which is adjacent to the Gaza Strip. He was accompanied by a number of officials.

According to the Hebrew language Rotter website, Bennett claimed that Israel is determined to prevent the "remarkably increasing" power of Hamas, including tunnels and missiles. "We are ready in Israel to confront Hamas, if necessary, in order to prevent a future disaster," adding:

Israel will also continue to build the anti-tunnels barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip.

He suggested that the level of security enjoyed by Israeli settlers living near the coastal enclave is much greater than it was years ago.

The minister was responding to news about a trend in Israel towards a truce with the Gaza Strip. "I support the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip," he explained, "including the provision of humanitarian aid, but on two conditions: the return of Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas and preventing the development of its military strength and capabilities."

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