Photo: Ori Porat
Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday "the state of Hamastan – an offshoot of Iran - has been established before our eyes.”
Speaking at an emergency party meeting held in light of Hamas’ stunning victory in the Palestinian Authority elections, Netanyahu said, “All this is happening just 1,000 meters from us, a short distance from Ben-Gurion Airport, Jerusalem and the coastal towns.
Rightist politicians slam government policy in wake of Hamas elections victory; Likud: Olmert and Kadima setting up Hamas terror state near Israel's population centers
“This event (elections) has produced an extreme Islamist country; the hands of all its leaders are stained in blood,” he added.
“Today is the day for soul-searching, because the writing was on the wall. The free withdrawals from Gaza and the northern West Bank gave Hamas a winning card.”
'We cannot reach an understanding with Hamas'
The Likud chairman said he had warned of Hamas’ strengthening a year and a half ago: “I warned that the disengagement policy will lead to rise in strength of Hamas strength and the decline of Mahmoud Abbas - and, to my avail, this is what happened. “
Netanyahu attacked Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his right-hand man Shimon Peres for their handling of the situation, saying, “they moved the (security fence) to within 600 meters of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway, instead of moving it further away.
“They will hand over lands to the state of Hamas, withdraw and strengthen the extremists even more,” he said.
As to the speculations that Hamas will become more moderate now that it has won the elections, Netanyahu said, “This is what they said about the ayatollahs when they took control over Iran.
“We cannot reach an understanding with Hamas, as their main goal is to annihilate Israel. We must return to the Likud’s policy of deterrence,” he concluded.