Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of Jewish Home Party, yesterday accused Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman of “weakness” for engaging in ceasefire talks with the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, Ynet News reported.
“The Lieberman-Hamas agreements have crashed. The terror is continuing at the expense of the security of our residents thanks to Lieberman’s policy of restraint and weakness,” Ynet News reported Bennett saying.
Bennett added: “In the last few days, we have witnessed the dangerous consequences of a policy of restraint and the weakness of Defence Minister Lieberman in the Gaza Strip.”
He continued: “More restraint, more terror. Incendiary kites and balloons continue to threaten the residents of the Gaza region, the riots on the border fence [unarmed Palestinian protesters] are escalating and IDF positions are infiltrated by Palestinians without fear.”
Declaring he would take this issue to the next Cabinet meeting, Bennett pointed out: “This is not the way to handle security policy. This is how a policy of failure looks… At the beginning of the violent occurrences, I presented a plan to deal with the Gaza Strip which is based on a fundamental principle: restraint leads to escalation and this is what it has done.”
“The current situation is a direct result of Lieberman’s policy toward Gaza. Under the guise of ‘pragmatism’ and ‘responsibility’, Lieberman has left the security of the southern residents to the considerations of Hamas. The time has come to tell the truth. The Lieberman-Hamas agreements have crashed,” Bennett said.
“This is not the security policy that the public expects to see from a right-wing government. Voters of the nationalist Right expect to see a heavy hand and zero tolerance for dangerous Palestinian terror. This situation has to stop.”
Palestinians started a weekly protest near the Israeli fence along the east of Gaza on 30 March. They are demanding the end of the 11-year Israeli blockade on the Strip and reinforcing the Palestinians’ right to return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948.
Last Friday, Israel killed seven protesters and wounded more than 550 others, including three who are in a very critical conditions.
Israel has killed 193 protesters, including 34 children and three women, and wounded 21,150 others, including 4,200 children and 1,950 women.