Minister Calls to Cut Aid to Gaza, Target Hamas Leaders
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) sharply criticized Israeli government policy on Saturday, insisting that it is responsible for the current salvo of rocket fire from Gaza.
"The policy of all governments since Hamas took power in Gaza is the wrong policy," Katz began. "The security system has also become too conservative, and [neither] has come and taken revolutionary steps [to combat Hamas]."
"This has been driving the political leadership over the years, this is what has been driving state policy over the years, and this government is not doing what it needs to," he added.
Katz called to break all of Israel's humanitarian aid to Gaza, including the electricity and water it supplies.
"We need to break away from the population in Gaza," he said. "We need to set boundaries and say goodbye to Gaza until their is peace - no fuel, no electricity, no water, no food."
"It makes no sense for Israel to give the enemy these things," he continued. "We are responsible for an area which has no authority."
The Transportation Minister added that the next step is breaking Hamas down at the fundamental level.
"Israel should set a clear goal: to dismantle Hamas of its missile stockpile," he said. "We should criminalize the Hamas leadership, which is responsible for abduction and murder [of Israelis]."
"[Ismail] Haniyeh and others should be the ones living in shelters," he continued, adding that Israel should also return to targeted assassinations. "We must say to the world, to countries in the region and to Egypt: we are not willing to put up with anymore."
Katz concluded by saying that he would fight for his views to be heard in the government.
"It cannot be that we let missiles fall on civilian communities," he said. "It cannot be that Israel does not provide strong protection and create deterrence to prevent this rocket fire."
Katz's remarks surface after Hamas rocket fire on Israel has increased dramatically, with at least fifteen rockets fired on Israel in a 12-hour period on Saturday.
Hamas has been ignoring the IDF's ultimatum, which on Thursday called to stop the rocket fire within 48 hours or face war.