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Israel: officials criticise ‘weak’ response to Gaza rockets

April 6, 2023 at 8:31 am

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir speaks during a press conference, at the Ministry of National Security in West Jerusalem on January 24, 2023 [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu Agency]

A number of Israeli officials have criticised the “weak” response by the Israeli army to rockets launched from the Gaza Strip following the violent attack on Palestinian worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque earlier this week.

“The government of which I am a member should respond strongly to the rocket fire from Gaza,” tweeted far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. “Hamas rockets necessitate a response beyond the bombing of dunes and uninhabited sites.” After calling for the security cabinet to be convened, the extremist added, “It’s time for heads to roll in Gaza.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid tweeted that Israel’s security is not on hold. “Our enemies will not be delayed.” Moreover, he called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to remove the “cloud hanging over” the dismissal of Defence Minister Yoav Gallant. “The State of Israel needs a full-time defence minister, not one on probation. Netanyahu, come to your senses.”

The head of the National Unity party, and former chief of the General Staff, Benny Gantz, called on Netanyahu to announce that Gallant would not be sacked, “no ifs or buts.” He also noted that the escalation in the Gaza Strip was a “reminder that in the Middle East, you don’t mix politics with security.”

The Israeli occupation forces launched several air strikes against Gaza on Wednesday morning, targeting farms and property in several areas across the besieged enclave. It claimed that the strikes were a response to rockets launched from Gaza, which were themselves a response to the vicious assault on Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

“In the midst of these tit-for-tat actions,” said one observer, “the Israeli rhetoric overlooks the fact that the root cause is Israel’s brutal military occupation of Palestine. That’s a fact. End the occupation and legitimate resistance will no longer be required.”

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