Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’
An idea on the negotiating table in Cairo that tax money collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority would end up in the pockets of Hamas in exchange in exchange for a supposed truce was debunked Tuesday by key coalition government partner Naftali Bennett, who said the scheme is nothing short of extortion.
The Minister of the Economy and chairman of the Jewish Home Party, the third largest in the coalition, said the idea is one of “Pay us – we’ll shoot at your later; don’t pay us – we’ll shoot at you now.”
Israel previously has insisted that all money it transfers to the Palestinian Authority cannot reach Hamas, which is a fiction because the Palestinian Authority ends up paying for salaries of Hamas government “workers,” which includes “civil servants” with machine guns.
The government in the past also has used the tax money to pay off a huge debt owed to Israel Electric Corp.(IEC) by the electric company in the Palestinian Authority.
Most of the “news” on negotiations in Cairo between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Egypt in order to maintain the illusion that Israel and Hamas do not recognize each other, is based on the usual Hamas hyperbole and threats, and on more substantiated reports.
The guts of a proposed agreement reportedly would extend the 72-hour ceasefire due to expire on midnight Wednesday.
Israel would perform a very poor trick of magic by handing over the money to Hamas through a third party to fool itself that it is not paying Hamas directly.
That idea sent Bennett through the ceiling. “Extortion” and “dangerous” were only two of the unflattering adjectives he expressed. He warned that the money will be used by terrorists “who are digging under our feet… It’s a ‘calm for money to terrorists formula.’ You don’t pay Hamas, you defeat them.”
Bennett said he will fight the proposal if it comes to the Cabinet for a vote.
Israel reportedly is willing to ease the blockade without removing it completely, and Egypt would do the same at the border in the divided city of Rafah. Israel also is seriously considering extending the permitted fishing zone to six nautical miles and to allow, once again, construction materials to move into Gaza under supervision.
As with previous ceasefire agreements and concessions on the blockade, supervisory measures are questionable.
Hamas exploited Israel’s previous agreement to allow cement and other “dual-use” materials into Gaza and used them to build tunnels for terrorists, among other activities that were at the expense of building houses and schools. Even then, Hamas has used schools and homes, as well as mosques and hospitals, as rocket launching pads, so all “dual purpose” materials ultimately had only one purpose – terror.
Officially, “no progress” has been made in the talks. This is expected because Hamas always likes to keep everyone in suspense until the last minute, or even after the last minute.
For good measure, it has publicly threatened that any extended ceasefire would simply be a temporary measure until the next war. That can be dismissed as rhetoric in the short-term, but in the long-term, Hamas means what it says. Its existence depends on attacking Israel. If it does not, it risks losing its power to rival terrorist groups who would be happy to take over the task.
One of the most dangerous elements of a possible longer-term agreement for a truce is allowing security forces from the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, to supervise the “Philadlphi” smuggling route at and near Rafah.
Abbas and Hamas have accepted each other as peace partners in a new unity government, which has carefully placed “technocrats” in the government, a camouflage for the grip over Gaza by Hamas and its full-fledged army.
Naftali Bennett takes on and takes down Al Jazeera, and what a great job he did of it.
“Your owner, Qatar, funds the daily murder of children in Israel and Gaza.”
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett responded Thursday night to accusations that Israel targeted three Palestinian children playing on a Gaza beach Thursday. In a prime time interview with CNN Anchorman Wolf Blitzer, Bennett said, “Israel never targets civilians. Period.”, and continued to say that the key to ending the conflict in Gaza rests squarely on Hamas’ shoulders.
“This whole thing can go away in one moment. Hamas needs to…stop shooting,” Bennett said.
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Left-wing peace activists physically attacked Economy Minister Naftali Bennett Tuesday afternoon at a peace conference in Tel Aviv sponsored by the Ha’aretz newspaper.
Bennett’s speech was interrupted several times as participants shouted “murderer” and “fascist.” Eventually, the leader of the Jewish Home party completed his speech and left the stage, only to be rushed and attacked by the peaceniks. One punched Bennet in the back before the latter was rushed from the room by security guards.
Responding to the incident, Ha’aretz publisher Amos Shocken – who’s newspaper routinely demonizes Bennett and portrays the Judea and Samaria community he represents as enemies of Israel – tried to calm tempers.
“There are people here who agreed to speak to Arafat, but they won’t listen to Bennett,” he reminded the crowd.
After the attack, Bennett told The Jerusalem Post: “I represent a stance shared by millions of people and no one will silence me.” A Bayit Yehudi spokesman said the party is shocked and distressed by the attack on Bennett.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman dissolved the partnership of his Yisrael Beytenu party with the Prime Minister’s leading Likud party.
Liberman made the formal announcement Monday at noon, telling reporters at a news conference the impetus for the move was a disagreement over how the escalation of attacks from Gaza were being handled.
“The truth is, the [Likud Beytenu] merger never really worked well,” he said, “not before the elections, not during the elections, and not after the elections either.”
However, he made it clear he did not intend to leave the government coalition.
There have been sharp differences between the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu in how the Gaza situation should be handled, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Liberman have traded fierce words over the issue.
“The central objective of the government is to stop the firing on the communities in the south but the argument over the way to do this should not leak out of the Cabinet,” Netanyahu said Sunday during the cabinet meeting.
Apparently Liberman decided it was preferable to free himself to say and do what he pleases as an independent entity rather than be forced to cooperate with a policy he detests as part of a merged party with the Likud.
He has demanded a ‘harsh operation’ in Gaza and a similar response to end the Arab violence throughout Israel, citing his call for a need to silence the terrorist guns as his reason for ending his merger with the Likud.
In that he is joined by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party chairman Naftali Bennett, who has also been calling for a wide-scale operation in Gaza to silence the increasing rocket and mortar fire.
Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that any escalation would be met with a fierce response the IDF has been forced to restrict itself to measured air strikes that target specific terrorist targets.
Sunday night and Monday morning nine terrorists were killed in Gaza, including seven in a smugglers tunnel along the region’s border with Egypt. It was unclear whether those seven were killed by the air strike, or whether they died due to a ‘work accident’ in which a bomb they were working on exploded prematurely.
IAF fighter pilots also killed two terrorists who were in the process of launching another rocket attack against southern Israel. They attacked a total of 14 targets in two waves of air strikes overnight.
Nevertheless, Hamas and other terror groups have continue to fire rockets, mortar shells and missiles at Israel and have slowly increased the range and number of projectiles they launch.
On Monday Gaza terrorists fired an anti-tank missile across the border at IDF soldiers patrolling along the security fence as well.