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Bennett: 'Yes' to Humanitarian Aid, 'No' to Terror

Economics Minister pushes for Israel to leave talks, says the key to restoring peace is to provide humanitarian aid and hit Hamas hard.
By Hezki Ezra
First Publish: 8/17/2014, 1:15 PM

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Flash 90

Security Cabinet member, Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett called on Israel to immediately halt negotiations in Cairo on Sunday, saying any truce agreement is bound to bring another war with Hamas. 

"This situation, in which we are biting our nails in nervous anticipation of a reply from a murderous terrorist organization should be stopped," Bennett urged. "We must immediately stop negotiations with Hamas, and take fate into our own hands, under a simple premise: humanitarianism - yes, terrorism - no." 

Bennett explained that instead of acquiescing to Hamas's demands via international mediation, Israel should instead address civilian casualties in Gaza by increasing humanitarian aid - and then hitting Hamas hard in retaliation for future rocket attacks. Throughout the month-long conflict, Israel continued to provide humanitarian aid to Gazans despite the ongoing rocket fire on Israelis.

"Gazans face [the decision of] allowing passing humanitarian goods into Gaza, such as food and medicine, as we work against all the weapons or tunnels and the option of allowing senior Hamas officials to operate unrestricted," he said. "Every other proposal binds our hands and bring the next war." 

Bennett has pushed for Israel to cease negotiations on multiple occasions, as a shaky temporary ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad continues despite the dubious reliability of such a pact. 

Last week, Bennett slammed the idea of "calm for cash," noting that the time and money afforded by the ceasefire is allowing terror organizations to rearm. 

"Over the last day, reports have surfaced that Israel has agreed to finance Hamas's officials in Gaza," Bennett fired. "This is a dangerous euphemism. This is political protection money: you pay us, then we'll shoot you later; you don't pay us, then we'll shoot you right now." 

The money will inevitably go toward rebuilding terror tunnels, and manufacturing or importing missiles, Bennett said.

"This is a formula of calm for cash," he continued. This way, he explained, "the State of Israel leaves Gaza with the continued strengthening of Hamas and damage to our deterrence. It is impossible to fight our enemy with one hand and to fund it with the other."