Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the open-ended ceasefire deal reached between Israel and Hamas, and said that Israel should not make political agreements with Hamas, hinting at growing tensions within Prime Minister Netanyahu's governing coalition. The ceasefire was decided on by the prime minister, without being put to a Cabinet vote.
Meanwhile, former head of the Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address the ceasefire agreement citing that he has yet to make any public announcement or comment on the deal since it was announced at 7 pm Tuesday.
"As long as Hamas controls Gaza it is impossible to guarantee the safety of Israel and no accord can be reached – be it political or military" Lieberman wrote in a reference to both failed peace talks and the open-ended Gaza truce.
Lieberman took things one step further, and said the deal aides Hamas, "We must not and cannot trust such despicable murderers. Therefore we object to the ceasefire which offers Hamas the ability to continue to grow strong and fight future battles with Israel whenever it feels like. "
Summarizing his claim, the foreign minister said that "As long as Hamas is still in power – the threat of tunnels and rockets remains – and we must make sure that in the meantime, Hamas makes no political gains through this ceasefire. A deal will be possible only after we rid the Middles East and the Palestinians of Hamas' threats."
Netanyahu, who has faced constant sniping in his cabinet from right-wing ministers demanding military action to topple Hamas, made no immediate comment on the Egyptian-mediated truce deal that took effect on Tuesday evening.
Moreover, Netanyahu had deliberately refused to put the cease-fire to a vote in his security Cabinet because of opposition from ministers who wanted to continue the fighting – including Lieberman and Economy Minsiter Naftali Bennett.
Former head of the Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin slammed the government for failing to comment on the deal or speak directly with the Israeli people.
"After 70 Israeli casualties, over 2,100 dead Palestinians and 50 days of fighting, and without the cabinet discussing or authorizing an agreement, the Israeli public has the right to an explanation regarding the ceasefire, and the political leadership has a responsibility to supply it," Diskin wrote via Twitter.
Diskin has been vocal in his criticism against the government even as the operation was still in full swing. In an earlier Facebook post, Diskin expressed anger at the IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz for telling residents of the south it was now "safe" there before the previous ceasefire deal collapsed last Tuesday.
"Why must we be in such a hurry to make such statements and tell Hamas that as far as we are concerned that operation has ended, even though the ceasefire has yet to stabilize?" Diskin wondered.
"Obviously this invited Hamas to embarrass us this morning," he concluded
In the meantime, the IDF has begun to pull some of its forces from the Gaza area.