Israel’s Defence Minister Naftali Bennett has renewed his threats of a large-scale offensive against the Gaza Strip, speaking to Channel 12 News yesterday evening, reported Arutz Sheva.
“I do not want short rounds [of fighting],” said Bennett. “Now we have eliminated terrorists in both Gaza and Damascus and made a new rule. The Prime Minister is telling the truth, we are preparing something – but we need a little patience.”
In the interview, Bennett said that he would not be seeking a “dragged out” offensive, “because then you lose a good deal of effectiveness”.
“We need a regular plan under our conditions, not that they will set the rules, but we will set the rules. They have another last chance to behave well,” Bennett explained.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with the Jerusalem Post, Bennett declared that there is a “95 percent chance” Israel will “launch a large campaign” to “restart Gaza”.
“We are ready, and the plans have been formulated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the military,” Bennett said.
“We will give one very last chance to the terrorists to maintain quiet. But I don’t believe them. They are liars, murderers, and we are going to have to act. It’s always a last resort to go to war. But this time it will be on our terms with our timing and with a very clear vision of the day after.”
Bennett told the newspaper he wants Hamas to have a “painful spring”, claiming that the offensive would be “totally different” from past assaults and “reset” Gaza on “the day after”.
On Channel 12 News, Bennett was asked about the recent exchange of fire sparked by an Israeli army bulldozer entering Gaza to seize the body of a Palestinian killed by the Israeli occupation forces.
“I have been criticized for days from the left that it does not look good,” Bennett said, adding that he fully backed the soldiers’ actions.
“I set a goal to bring home the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oren Saul and the others. How will I do it? With a ballet dance?”, Bennett continued.
“So, if things have to be done that don’t look good on TV – I will do it. And if more bodies are to be collected – I will collect more bodies and if we have to pick up live terrorists we do that too.”