"The targeted killing of any person who deals in terror is not only legitimate but desirable in my eyes. Throughout these periods I always support the targeted killings of terror leaders," said Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday morning, after Hamas claimed Israel tried to kill al-Qassam Brigades chief Mohammed Deif.
Livni emphasized that she did not believe diplomacy would be able to neutralize Hamas. "I remember walking to elementary school with under fire during the Six Day War; I was in high school for the Yom Kippur War. Wars are not a choice we make for no reason."
Livni said she opposed the indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Cairo. "I do not negotiate with Hamas; I do not believe they would agree to it, and I would not deal with them but with international officials."
The justice minister said "the fundamental question is whether the fire causes us to pay a higher price even when it ceases; in my eyes, that's a strategic question. We must not let them think that the fire leads Israel to pay up. We must continue to deter them and only then will they understand that they cannot achieve more by using terror – that they are losing assets."
Livni stressed that "as long as Hamas does not fundamentally change its internal ideology, we are dealing with a terror organization."
Israel's chief negotiator to the peace process with the Palestinians reflected on the choices made by the Palestinian public. "I do not think that we can manage our neighbors and choose who they will vote for. Nobody wants to be considered as a collaborator with Israel against his people."
She emphasized: "The Palestinian public will need to choose between those who can give them a better life, and those who cannot. Unfortunately, they currently support resistance. Maybe this event can lead to a measure of change."
Israel's chief negotiator to the peace process with the Palestinians added: "There is a situation that we must deal with and I believe in the strength of the Israeli people. There is an ideological, Islamist terror organization which does not recognize our right to exist here; I see the public is unified in the understanding of what needs to be done."
"If Israel was behind the attack (on Mohammed Deif), then it was a step in the right direction," former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri told Ynet. The science minister said he could not confirm there was an attempt on the life of the al-Qassam Brigades' leader.
"The leaders of Hamas need to know that they are not immune and remain a target," Peri stressed, "If we had a hand in the matter, it just reflects on our intelligence capabilities. I can only hope that the Hamas leadership understands the explicit message."
The former leader of Israel's general security service said "the security cabinet is expected to meet during the day; we will be briefed and see where matters stand. All options are on the table and my position is clear, I support an attempt to negotiate a 'light' ceasefire accord to be accompanied by a humanitarian opening of the crossings as well as other small relief measures."
Peri focused on the proposed creation of a committee to disarm the Gaza Strip. "We must strive to convene within a month or two a committee with the aim of demilitarization. I do not support negotiating under fire, but as long as we are talking and there is no fighting we have to make use of all the possibilities."
The Yesh Atid MK also addressed the loud complaints by some ministers that they were not adequately briefed. "I think the complaints by some of the ministers are less about the lack of updates and more about politics. There is no issue of lack of information and everyone has said their piece. But in the end someone needs to make the decisions."