VIDEO - Tempers heated Sunday as cabinet ministers discussed the ongoing Qassam fire on Sderot and the situation in Gaza.
Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit suggested obliterating a Gaza neighborhood in response to Saturday's Qassam fire on Sderot, saying "any other country would have already gone in and level the area, which is exactly what I thing the IDF should do – decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it."
Video courtesy of Infolive.tv
Israel, he added should provide residents with due warning: "We should let them know 'you have to leave, this area will be taken down tomorrow' and just take it down – that will show them we mean business. Sporadic actions are good," added Sheetrit, "but they're not good enough."
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz tried to understand the nature of the Gaza operation: "We have yet to define the purpose of the Gaza operation. Is it deterrence? Is it reducing or stopping Qassam fire and terror? We have to set a clear goal and derive the operation from it, with the emphasis being on continuance.
"We have to target the four focals of gravity: The leadership, the military wings, the infrastructure and the financing. Why aren’t we going after Mahmoud al-Zahar (of Hamas), who is directly responsible for shooting?"
Mofaz further of the neglected fence project in the area near the West Bank city of Hebron: "Why was this project stopped? Two governments approved the budgets for this fence. This is a grave omission. Someone has to oversee government decisions."
Vice Premier Haim Ramon reiterated, saying "the fact that the fence's finding didn't come through is a failure which will end up costing us in blood. This is the government's responsibility."
As for the situation in Gaza, in Ramon's opinion, Israel has to "cut off the power and directly link its supply to Qassam fire. Qassams are a war crime."
Sunday's cabinet meeting (Reuters)
The ministers further discussed Saturday's Qassam attack on Sderot, which seriously injured eight-year-old Osher Tuito and his 19-year-old brother Rami.
"I wish the injured in Sderot a full recovery. There is no doubt that we all share the pain, and the anger is understandable and natural, but the anger is not an action plan," said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
"We need systematic and organized action over time. We will go on and reach all elements of terror without being considerate towards anyone," he added.
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter chose to cite parts from the Winograd report on the lessons of the Second Lebanon War, matching the conclusions to the reality in Gaza: "The results of the raids are local and limited, causing dissatisfaction among the commanders and fighters," Dichter read.
"In the meantime, the home front is under an extensive Qassam attack. The home front is sustaining casualties and its civil functioning is badly damaged, but no military operation is prepared to give an answer to the situation."