Speaking in an interview with Arutz Sheva on Thursday at the site of the fatal attack in Kiryat Malachi, Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz (Likud) addressed the recent wave of terrorism that has hit southern Israel.
“I came to visit my neighbors who have suffered a tragic event,” he said. “I came to encourage the people.”
“The people here are ready to suffer on one condition-- that the problem in Gaza be taken care of once and for all. The fact that the ‘head of the snake’ was eliminated in Gaza yesterday is a very positive development,” he said, referring to Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, who was killed in a pinpoint airstrike on Wednesday as he was riding in a car on a Gaza street.
“We must continue to eliminate all those responsible for terror against us, from Ismail Haniyeh on down,” Katz continued. “Hamas is a cowardly organization that aims specifically for civilians.”
“Yesterday the world was shocked by the accuracy and effectiveness of the Israeli strike,” said Katz. “There is no doubt that the people are behind it. We hope that we will not have to go beyond what we are doing now, but if we do and the terror threat continues, we will do what is necessary without hesitation.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday that the State of Israel is “prepared to widen the operation” against terrorists in the Gaza Strip. “We will continue to do everything to defend our citizens," he said.
Katz continued to state that, “for many years we been calling for a change of attitude on dealing with Gaza. I was opposed to the Disengagement, but once that was accomplished there was no need to continue dealing with Arabs in Gaza. It is a twisted situation that we continue to supply them with electricity and water. It prevents us from operating effectively as we did in Lebanon.”
“If the strike that hit Kiryat Malachi had come from Lebanon, all the residents of southern Lebanon would be running to Beirut, as they did in the past, because we would deal with them as with an enemy,” he asserted. “The connection we have with Gaza prevents us from operating effectively, and I hope this will change soon.”