Bennett to Netanyahu: Don’t stop until Hamas pays heavy price

Written by on May 12, 2021

Former defense minister Naftali Bennett called upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reject international offers to mediate a ceasefire. 

Bennett encouraged Netanyahu to take more action against Hamas, even though a continued escalation could prevent the Yamina leader from forming a government. 

“The government should not end the current round in the Gaza strip until the Hamas pays a heavy price,” said Bennett.

Bennett also called upon the public security ministry and police to do more to protect citizens in mixed cities suffering from vandalism and violence.

“The Likud went from being a ruling party to a party that is failing to run the country and is leading us negligently from blunder to disaster,” Bennett said. “Yamina will give full support to any step to restore security without regard to politics. this is the time to unite and win.”  

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Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich said it was crazy that the escalation did not stop Bennett from negotiating to form a government with “terror supporters” — a reference to the Ra’am (United Arab List) Party.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said it was right to continue coalition talks, because the events of the past week proved that Netanyahu needs to be replaced.

“I have no intention of stopping the democratic process of forming a new government for Hamas,” Lapid said. “It would be a prize for terror, and the time has come for Israel to stop giving prizes to terror.”

Lapid said that what Israel has endured “is a product of Netanyahu’s neglect and lack of vision.” 

“If an Islamic terrorist organization is not afraid to fire missiles at the towns and communities around Gaza, at Jerusalem and at Tel Aviv, and Arab rioters are not afraid to burn synagogues in Lod, then there is no deterrence and no government that can be trusted, he said. “That needs to change. And now. Israel more than ever needs a unity government that will enable us to face the challenges together.”

At Bennett’s request, Lapid persuaded Abbas to speak favorably about forming a government despite the escalation, in an interview with KAN Radio’s Arabic station.

“When the fires are extinguished, there is no option other than returning to political contacts to form a government,” Abbas said. “We have a real opportunity to fill an important role in Israeli politics for our society.”

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