'Hamas was begging for a ceasefire'

Prime Minister pushes back on criticism of ceasefire agreement with Hamas, as Defense Minister apparently plans resignation.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 12:27 PM

Netanyahu at meeting
Netanyahu at meeting
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended his government’s handling of the recent conflict with Hamas, and the decision to accept an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with the terror group following two days of rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Speaking at an event in honor of Israel’s first premier, David Ben Gurion, Netanyahu said the government must sometimes make “fateful decisions” regarding Israel’s security, even when they go against public opinion.

“At critical moments, Ben Gurion made fateful decisions – sometimes against what the majority of the public wanted. But in the long-run, those decisions turned out to be correct.”

"In times of emergency, when making decisions crucial to security, the public can't always be privy to the considerations that must be hidden from the enemy. At these moments, leadership doesn’t mean doing what is easy. Real leadership means doing what is correct, even if it is difficult. That kind of leadership requires us to face criticism sometimes, when you know critical, secret information which you cannot reveal to the Israeli public, or in this case to the residents of southern Israel, whom I love and cherish so much.”

Netanyahu also said the Gaza-based Hamas terror group “begged” for a cessation to the fighting.

"Our enemies begged for a ceasefire and they knew very well why."

Israel and the Hamas terror group agreed to a ceasefire Tuesday evening, following two days of the most intense fighting since August 2014.

The escalation began Sunday night, when an elite IDF special forces unit operating inside the southern Gaza Strip was discovered by Hamas forces and attacked, leading to a major battle near the city of Khan Yunis.

One IDF officer was killed in the incident, and a second officer wounded. Seven Hamas terrorists, including a senior officer in Hamas’ military wing, were also killed in the battle.

Following the incident, Hamas unleashed a massive barrage of some 500 rockets and mortar shells were launched from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave towards Israel since Sunday night, following an incident in the southern Gaza Strip between an elite IDF special forces unit and a cell of Hamas terrorists. One person was killed and nearly 60 more injured in the rocket attacks.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman who decried the ceasefire agreement Tuesday night, revealed Wednesday morning plans for a special public announcement at 1:00 p.m. Sources close to Liberman said the announcement concerns his plans to resign from his position.