Economy Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett declared on Wednesday that Israel would settle the score with both Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The comments came one day after a long-term ceasefire in Gaza went into effect, marking the end of Operation Protective Edge.
“It's time to stand up and salute the IDF and the soldiers for their sacrifice, dedication and the camaraderie they demonstrated during the war. There is no such army in the world," wrote Bennett on his Facebook page.
"It's time to be proud of our country, of our neighbors who became reserve soldiers overnight, of our co-workers who donated to the troops and who visited the wounded, of the people who demonstrated maturity that exists in no other country in the world, who demonstrated resilience, unity, love of man and love of Israel,” he continued.
Bennett noted that the truth is simple: "Hamas brought death and unprecedented destruction on its people. We were exposed to an enemy that sanctifies killing: the killing of soldiers, killing a four-year-old boy, killing innocent people, a systematic education towards killing. Hamas was elected democratically by the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, is sitting in a unity government with Hamas, pays the salaries of murderers and is responsible for what we experienced here. We will settle the score with him as well.”
"The illusion of the Palestinian state evaporated in the Gaza tunnels,” he continued. "The illusion of returning to the pre-1967 lines flew away with the missiles that were fired towards us from the pre-1967 lines, to which we withdrew in the Disengagement.”
"In the world of the Islamic State and Hamas, Hezbollah and the PLO, there is no alternative to strength, and there is no forgiveness for withdrawals and running away, and all those who are still in favor of a Palestinian state should say: I saw it, I was wrong, I corrected myself. We are not afraid of a long path. What was not achieved today will be achieved next time. It's time to raise our heads and be proud of what we are. We will remain strong, we have no other choice.”
"It's time to love the state of Israel. We’ve sacrificed so much for it over the last fifty days,” concluded Bennett.
On Tuesday, it was reported that roughly half the cabinet was opposed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to agree to an open-ended ceasefire with Hamas - but the decision was passed unilaterally by the PM anyway.
Immediately following the announcement, it was revealed that Bennett was one of those who opposed the decision.
Bennett challenged senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office to demand the acceptance of the ceasefire be contingent upon a Security Cabinet vote, according to the source, but was informed that legally the PM was not required to do so since the deal did not technically affect any change of legal status vis-a-vis the relationship between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Netanyahu attempted to respond to the outpouring of criticism for his unilateral decision the night before, in which he sealed a ceasefire deal with the terrorist group Hamas.
"With the establishment of the ceasefire I can say that this is a great military and diplomatic achievement," claimed Netanyahu.
Netanyahu stated "Hamas has been hit critically and didn't receive any of the demands it set."