Slamming what he characterized as the "soft policies of Kadima," Netanyahu warned "this cancer (Hamas) has to be contained and reduced, not expanded. Otherwise, the entire country will be in danger."
Bibi: Likud will build 'iron wall' around Hamas (Video: Micha Duman)
Addressing talk of possible Hamas moderation, the former prime minister said: "It's not really myopic, it's dead wrong, because Hamas is not a leopard that will change its spots."
The Islamic group is "constitutionally, inherently, and in every way committed to the destruction of Israel," Netanyahu said. "If you give it more power, more land, more means, and more money, it will use that to advance the destruction of Israel."
Netanyahu noted the same hopes for moderation were voiced after the ayatollahs rose to power in Iran, and "now they're building atomic missiles in order to wipe Israel off the map."
"They said about the ayatollah regime the same thing they say about the Hamas. Power will moderate them. The experience of governing will moderate them. Some moderation," Netanyahu scoffed.
'Policy of strength' needed
Turning his attention to the upcoming general elections, the Likud chairman said the only thing he can offer is the truth, "and the truth is that we face a great danger, because Hamas is not Fatah, because it's part of a worldwide Islamic Jihadist movement that intends to destroy the State of Israel as its first goal."
Netanyahu said the Likud "will build an iron wall around Hamas" in the form of security fences and stressed a Likud-led government would not cede the Jordan Valley and the Judean desert to the Palestinians, while also maintaining Israel's control over areas surrounding the Ben Gurion airport and roads connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
"We will deprive the Hamas of any money or economic benefits, unlike what Olmert is doing," Netanyahu said. "This is a policy of strength."