Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and senior ministers commented on the recent round of violence
during Sunday's cabinet meeting.
is operating and will operate in Gaza,"
Netanyahu said. "The terror organizations are taking tough blows from the IDF and Israel
won't sit idly by. We are ready to step up our response."
Minister Silvan Shalom said prior to the meeting that Israel will do everything to restore calm to the south. "We won't let this situation go on. We are working in other countries to make it clear than Israel will not stay silent."
Shalom further added, "We are under a double attack: terrorist harassment from Gaza and a diplomatic offensive from Ramallah. We are considering stepping up our activity in Gaza which is beginning to resemble Lebanon. There is a military force in western Israel. We must act to rein in Hamas'
Direct hit in Sderot (Photo: Eliad Levy)
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that "Israel must operate in Gaza to eliminate the Hamas leadership and disengage on all civil levels, just like in Lebanon. I don't think the elections factor into this."
Interior Minister Eli Yishai
remarked that the "rules of the game in the south are about to change – there will be no more of 'they fire and we respond.' Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself."
Water and Energy Minister Uzi Landau said, "We must persecute them, we must remember Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), the partner. Is he able to stop the firing from Gaza?" The minister added that the situation warrants a large scale operation.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said during a tour of the Sderot police station, "Hamas is accountable and will pay dearly. We will not hold a time limit on retaliation. The IDF knows the targets and will strike them; holding close to a million residents in shelters is impossible and intolerable."
The minister called for tougher action against the Palestinian terror groups. "The time has come to remove the threat. It will be my recommendation to hit the leaders of Hamas, with targeted killings, their infrastructure and whatever else necessary. The blow must be much harder. Elections should not come into play here."
In his opening statements, Netanyahu also referred to the recent developments on the Syrian border. "We are ready for any development on the Syrian border as well," he said.