The Kachol Lavan party on Monday morning attacked the Netanyahu government in light of the ceasefire with the terrorist organizations in Gaza. Four Israeli civilians were killed in the rocket barrage that began Saturday morning and included an estimated 700 launches, all directed at civilian areas, including Barzilai medical center in Ashkelon.
Kachol Lavan chairman, former IDF chief of staff MK Benny Gantz, issued a statement saying: “Nearly 700 launches into Israeli territory, many wounded, and 4 killed – all the result of the loss of deterrence – have ended with another surrender to the blackmail of Hamas and the terrorist organizations. All that the government has done, once again, is to invite the next clash.”
His co-chairman, MK Yair Lapid, told Reshet Bet radio: “We need to have more courage in the operational sense. What needs to be done is to restore deterrence using far more force, and then employ economic levers within Gaza. There is no political courage here, there is cowardice [on Netanyahu’s part] to even stand before the citizens of Israel and explain.”
MK Itzik Shmuli (Labor) responded to the ceasefire saying: “Kudos to Netanyahu for saving the [song contest] Eurovision at the price of continuing the surrender to terror and the loss of security and deterrence in the south. The suitcases full of dollars for Hamas are already on the way. And Hamas, the true landlord here, will decide when the next round of violence will start and how it will end. Only a combination of using hard military force against Hamas and a political initiative to isolate it will change the equation.”
On Sunday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh issued a victorious statement saying: “Hamas stresses that calm can be restored only after stopping the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and implementing the ceasefire understandings by the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian people besieged in the Gaza Strip for more than 12 years demand their basic rights only, as per all international laws and conventions.”
Rubbing Netanyahu’s face in it, Haniyeh warned: “Finally, if the Israeli occupation does not implement the ceasefire understandings, the battlefield will witness more escalation.”
On Sunday night, Israeli media reported that one of the demands Netanyahu and the security apparatus were making as a condition for a ceasefire was an end to the routine “marches” every Friday at the Gaza Strip border fence, which routinely devolve into riots that claim Arab lives and occasionally harm Israeli soldiers as well. It appears that Israel has had to give up on that one, too, while letting in Qatari millions and fuel supplies.
According to a Monday morning Ma’an report, Abu Mujahid, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, “the occupation” had tried to “put the march back and stop it again at the negotiating table, which was rejected by the Palestinian factions.”