Amid growing signs of a ceasefire, Habayit Hayehudi Chairman
Naftali Bennett harshly criticized the government on Wednesday. "They've lost all common sense," he said on Ynet's TV studio.
The newly-elected chairman called on the government to expand Operation Pillar of Defense and
"tear the Gaza Strip in two."
"We can postpone the elections if that's what it takes to protect the people of the south," Bennett said. He added that a "country that cannot protect its residents is degrading itself in the eyes of the world. A country that protects its residents is respected.
"I think there is weakness of spirit a loss of fighting spirit, Jewish spirit, Zionist spirit on the part of the government."
Asked what he would do in Benjamin Netanyahu's
place he said, "I would seize an open strip of land, create a buffer zone between Egypt
and Gaza and stay there to prevent launchers from entering. If we're not going for a decisive blow, I'm against deploying even one soldier."
The Habayit Hayehudi chairman stated that Israel faces an historic opportunity. "The people, the army, the reservists are all saying 'Netanyahu, give us the order.' We're right behind you.'"
IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai told Ynet that Hamas is stressed. "The organization has been very badly hit. All of its leaders are in a state of crisis.
"There are many terrorist groups in Gaza and Hamas has reached a crossroads and needs to make a decision." Mordechai said that if Hamas fails to impose its authority, the Gaza Strip may fall to pieces.
He said that 160 Palestinians were killed, including 30 in the past 24 hours. The Palestinians however reported that 140 were killed in Gaza.