Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called to cut off all Israeli-provided electricity to Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday, in light of the ongoing struggle to locate three teens kidnapped by Hamas ten days ago.
Danon stressed that, contrary to criticism from some in the international community and from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, a wide-scale crackdown in all areas under Palestinian Arab control is completely justified.
"In my opinion there is room for extensive activity also against the civilian population," Danon said. "What I say here is difficult, but I believe in it."
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have encouraged ordinary citizens to hinder the IDF crackdown, with early posts on Fatah's Facebook page calling on local businesses to erase all closed-caption television footage (CCTV) of the teens or the terrorists who kidnapped them.
Meanwhile, the international community has largely rallied behind Hamas, with the United Nations even saying that there is no "concrete evidence" that the abduction happened at all.
The counterbalance to this, says Danon, is forcing civilians to come forward with information - and the international community to acknowledge the seriousness of the event.
"You have to change the daily life of the residents of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, to lower the power for a few days and force the international community to ask us why we cut off electricity," Danon said. "Then maybe we can fire back and say, 'did you know three teenage boys were kidnapped?'"
Danon's comments surface hours after a private project was launched to provide another incentive: to fund reward money for civilians who know something about the kidnapping or the boys' whereabouts in general.