Bennett on Hamas: We cannot continue this crazy situation

Education Minister says he will take care of Hamas as defense minister, blasts Blue and White leaders over past mistakes in Gaza.

Ben Ariel,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yisrael Bardugo

Education Minister and New Right co-leader, Naftali Bennett, told i24NEWS in an exclusive interview on Monday that he will take care of Hamas as defense minister, while adding that the ex-generals who are leading the Blue and White party were responsible for past mistakes in Gaza.

“We will need about 10 seats in order for me to become defense minister and take care of Hamas because we cannot continue this crazy situation where a terror organization controls Israel,” said Bennett.

While he has accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government of accommodating terrorist entities instead of protecting Israelis living in the south, Bennett stressed in the interview that the only candidate qualified to lead Israel in the next government is Netanyahu.

“The elections are not about not about who is going to be prime minister. Netanyahu will. The only question is who he will partner with,” he told i24NEWS.

The Education Minister also lashed out at Blue and White’s three former IDF chiefs of staff, Benny Gantz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gabi Ashkenazi, saying they bungled operations in Gaza during their respective tenures in defense leadership.

“These generals have failed, factually. It was Benny Gantz as chief of staff. It was Ya’alon as defense minister four years ago in Gaza,” Bennett added.

Though he said a government led by Gantz would be an “unmitigated disaster”, he fell short of rejecting to sit with Blue and White in the coalition.

“I’m not boycotting Benny Gantz in a government under Netanyahu,” Bennett said.

Bennett also hailed US President Donald Trump as a “huge friend of Israel”, but said that he would do “everything in my power” to stop the establishment of a Palestinian state, even if it’s part of the long awaited US peace plan.

“No more Palestinian states, those guys have 22 other countries. If it is east of the Jordan river, I'm fine with it,” he told i24NEWS.

Bennett recently offered a plan for dealing with the threat of Hamas from the Gaza Strip. He termed the operation "Burning the Chametz", a reference to the removal of leavened foods carried out ahead of the upcoming festival of Passover.

The interview came amid reports of an agreement between Israel and Hamas on calm in Gaza. On Monday, the Arabic-language Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that Israel has begun implementing the agreement with Gaza, expanding the fishing zone to six nautical miles in northern and central Gaza.

The Arabic newspaper also noted that the fishing zone will be further expanded to 15 nautical miles later on.

According to Al-Akhbar, Israel is allowing additional trucks into Gaza, and a foreign delegation will arrive later this month to follow the Hamas-led enclave's humanitarian situation.