Daily Israel Report

Bennett: IDF Ready to Strike Back Immediately

Economics Minister stands behind Netanyahu against Hamas 'blackmail' in the event ceasefire breaks down.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 8/7/2014, 4:38 PM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Flash 90

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that he was fully behind Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he says that Israel would respond with full force if Hamas resumed its attacks on Israel.

“I support the Prime Minister for his stance on the attempts by Hamas to blackmail us with terror threats against Israelis to achieve its goals, and for his opposition to giving in to the demands of the terrorists, which would just encourage them further.”

In a press conference with foreign journalists on Wednesday, Netanyahu said that Israel was “closely monitoring the implementation of the ceasefire on the ground, and we are holding position in the event it is violated. The army is in the field, with reinforcements, to meet any scenario."

Earlier Thursday, Hamas said that unless all its demands were met – including the opening of a seaport and airport in Gaza – the terror groups would resume firing rockets at Israel on Friday morning at 8 AM, the end of the 72 hour cease-fire period Egypt negotiated with Hamas and Israel. Egypt on Thursday called for a three-day extension of that truce.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Bennett said that Israel could not submit to Hamas threats. “We cannot be a hostage of Hamas,” he said. “Any concession to Hamas today is the foundation of a war tomorrow.”

In a press conference Thursday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid sounded a similar tone, warning that Hamas “should not test us.

The IDF is ready, the air force is ready, and any rockets will be responded to with heavy fire by us. The military and diplomatic 'wings' of Hamas are one and the same,” Lapid added. “Anyone who is at the top level of a terror group is taking his life into his hands.”