Finance Minister Promises No Economic Limits on Gaza Operation
Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) discussed the financial consequences of Operation Protective Edge on Monday, noting at the opening of the Yesh Atid faction meeting that the operation has seen success.
"We are in the midst of a successful operation," he said. "Hamas is weakened significantly, they failed to implement any of their goals."
"Dozens of terror targets have been eliminated, Hamas has suffered a blow, and [Hamas] has not achieved anything significant." Lapid continued. "We have done all that we can to prevent harm to innocent people [. . .] there is an accounting the international community must bring to Hamas [over its actions] - not [over] ours."
Economically, he said, "from the outset we have spent more on assistance to local authorities in the south."
Regarding compensation for victims of the operation, Lapid said that payments were already underway.
"So far, 550 claims have been filed, and all were taken care of immediately," he said. "Businesses within 40 kilometers of rocket fire have until July 25 to report to the tax authority."
"Additionally, we have extended tax relief to all businesses across Israel, until July 20," he added. "Those who have been called up for reserve duty will receive individualized attention over any problem that they may face [with employers - ed.]."
As for the total cost of the operation, Lapid remained evasive.
"The cost of the operation is not cheap, but there is no price for the safety of the residents of Israel," he said. "We will not prevent taking action over rocket fire from Gaza due to budgetary constraints, to act against a murderous organization."
"Our enemies should know that our economic strength allows us the ability to launch a long-term operation, if necessary, as well as one on a larger scale," he added.