Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who is a member of the Diplomacy-Security Cabinet, said Monday that in the end, there will be no alternative to decisively defeating Hamas in Gaza.
"At this point, the Cabinet took the turn that it took, but in the end, Hamas's declared aim is the destruction of Israel, so sooner or later we will have to go inside, into Gaza,” he told Channel 2.
As for cooperation with Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, and the possibility that control of Gaza will be handed over to the PA, Bennett said that “Abu Mazen is a partner for terror, he is a partner in a unity government with Hamas, which fired 3,400 rockets at us, and he funds Hamas terrorists in jail.
"The entire direction of a Palestinian state is over,” Bennett emphasized. “Hamas have ascertained the death of the Palestinian state. All of Israel's citizens know that a Palestinian state would crush Israel's economy and bring tunnels to Kfar Saba and rockets on central Israel.”
Bennett reminded viewers that the PA chairman is leading international lawsuits against Israel, and has turned to UN institutions in order to harm Israel.
Bennett implicitly criticized cabinet members for being overly optimistic at a certain point in the military operation. “I think there was a very big and baseless optimism in the initial phases, as if Hamas is down for the count. In the end, a decisive victory needs to be brought about, forcefully and continuously, without letup and without lulls.”
"I am leading a policy of victory, strength and deterrence, and not all sorts of technologies, but rather, a policy that will cause Hamas and all of our surroundings to understand that you do not mess with Israel," he said. "This has to be brought back, the deterrent approach, or we will not be here.”