Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Avigdor Liberman and Naftali Bennett in the Knesset.

Habayit Hayehudi chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who is a member of the Political-Security Cabinet, announced Tuesday evening that his party would oppose a “temporary peace agreement” that would allow Hamas to rearm and become stronger for the next round.

Bennett explained: “This ‘quiet’ would grant Hamas total immunity, permitting it to replenish tens of thousands of rockets that would threaten the entire country, allowing them to launch war against Israel at the time and under the conditions convenient to him.” Bennett added: “This will ultimately lead to the opening of two dangerous fronts, north and south, at a time determined by the enemy and according to its plans.”

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“After 130 days of arson and rockets, we must not reward the terrorists without their returning our captives and our martyrs first,” Bennett said, warning that “the terrorists would learn that terror pays and Israel’s deterrence would suffer.”

Defense Minister Liberman, for his part, pointed out that the past four days have been the quietest since Hamas began its “marches of return” on March 30. For some reason, the DM chose to ignore the fact that the kite and balloon incendiary attacks continued during those four days of peace, and that the fact that the media aren’t reporting about the resulting blazes in the Israeli settlements along the Gaza Strip is that, as Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel noted, there’s very little left to burn.

Liberman preferred to focus on the fact that “since that time (March 30), 168 terrorist operatives have been killed, 3,472 injured, and 34 terror infrastructure were destroyed.” Liberman added that “regarding all kinds of long-term plans, reality on the ground will decide it. Our goal is to achieve quiet and security for the residents of Gaza.”

Who are you, sir, and what have you done with Avigdor Liberman?

In accordance with Liberman’s instructions, the Kerem Shalom crossing opened on Wednesday at full capacity. In addition, the maritime territory where Gaza Strip fishermen are permitted to sail was extended from three to nine nautical miles.

“It is important to emphasize that I am trying to separate the Hamas leadership from the Gazan public,” Liberman said in a radio interview Wednesday. “This is a clear message to the people of Gaza, if Israelis enjoy the quiet they also enjoy – violence doesn’t pay.”

Well, stick a pin in my leg and call me Thanksgiving turkey, but can you spot a candidate for the next Nobel Peace Prize winner?

Bennett, who hates every bit of this peace offering to one of the most vicious terrorist government on the planet, hinted at a very different plan his party has submitted to the cabinet, a plan that does not require entering and reoccupying Gaza.

“There is an alternative that does not involve sending ground forces into Gaza, to which we are opposed,” Bennett insisted. “We have initiated a plan to eliminate the Gaza terror, without sending ground forces into Gaza, a plan that would impose a decisive cost on Hamas.”

“We put this plan on the table in the relevant security forums,” Bennett said, admitting that “at this stage it has not yet been accepted, but we will continue to promote it.”

So, which will it be? Peace in our time, or a secret sauce? Time will tell, and by time we mean today. The cabinet is expected to convene on Wednesday, for the fourth time in two weeks, to discuss its “peace contacts” with Hamas.

Meanwhile, Liberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, issued a reply to Bennett’s attack that showed who’s the real student of President Donald Trump’s school of rambunctious putdowns: “As usual, Bennett ran to the media with empty slogans which are nothing more than a little politics on the back of the IDF and the defense establishment. He would do better to deal with the rising violence in the schools.”

Ouch.

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