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Deputy Education Minister: Restraint is a Scandal

Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman calls for an end to Israel's restraint in the wake of the endless rocket fire from Gaza.
By Shimon Cohen and Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/7/2014, 1:13 AM

Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman
Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman
Flash 90

Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman (Jewish Home) said on Sunday that he agreed with comments by Be'er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich, who criticized the conduct of the government over its weak response to the rocket fire from Gaza.

Danilovich had said earlier on Sunday that the government would have responded with much more force had the rocket fire targeted Tel Aviv.

"I totally agree," Wortzman, himself a resident of Be'er Sheva, told Arutz Sheva. "One million citizens have become hostages of Hamas and the government responds weakly. What is happening here is unacceptable. Hamas must understand that it will not pay off for it to continue firing rockets.”

"The role of the state is to protect its citizens and at the moment it is doing so feebly,” he continued. “People are not willing to accept this reality. Our children’s routines are interrupted, they live in fear. Children are not our soldiers.”

"They say that restraint is power. That’s not true,” said Wortzman. "Restraint is a scandal and a disregard for citizens. It's that simple.”

He called for a serious military campaign on Gaza, adding, “A policy of targeted killings is required. It’s unthinkable that Hamas leaders will go on with their regular routines, Gaza families will go on with their regular routines, while children in Sderot, Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon and Eshkol will live in fortified rooms. A sovereign state cannot abandon its people. "

Asked if he agreed with Danilovich’s remarks that the government’s response would be much harsher if rockets were fired on Tel Aviv, Worzman replied, "Unfortunately I have to agree with him. I feel the rocket fire on the south is not shocking enough and not rushing the cabinet into immediate action. I turn to my friends in the Likud and ask, ‘Where are you? Where is the Prime Minister?’ It’s his responsibility. Millions of people are suffering here."

The Home Front Command and IDF announced earlier Sunday that a total of 110 rockets have hit Israel over the past five days, bringing the total this month to 135.

Of those, 21 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Several ministers and MKs have called for Israel to retake or attack Gaza and institute a "zero tolerance" policy against terrorism over the weekend.