Netanyahu: The battle's not over yet

Prime Minister takes part in first Knesset defense committee meeting as Defense Minister. 'This is not the time to topple the gov't.'

Tags: Knesset Likud
David Rosenberg ,

Netanyahu at Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee hearing
Netanyahu at Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee hearing
Miriam Alster/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part Monday in a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee – his first such meeting since he took over as Defense Minister Sunday evening.

Netanyahu replaced former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) after Liberman resigned from the government last week.

Liberman quit the coalition in protest of Israel’s acceptance of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terror organization last Tuesday, after Hamas launched some 500 rockets into Israeli territory

During the committee meeting Monday, Netanyahu said that the military campaign against Hamas was not over, despite the ceasefire.

"Yesterday I took the position of Defense Minister. I met with IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and his designated successor [Maj.-Gen.] Aviv Kochavi. We are ready for all challenges.”

“As I said last night, we are in a campaign that has not yet ended.”

While Netanyahu did not elaborate on the ongoing campaign, he said Israel’s security situation was such that it would be reckless to bring down the government and force new elections.

“At this sensitive security time, it would be irresponsible to topple the government. Whether our partners decide to topple the government or not, we will continue to take action to ensure the security of our state and of our people. We will do so sensibly, responsibly and with determination.”

“I rely on the IDF. I rely on the security forces. I rely on the citizens of Israel. Together we can face any challenge – and we will ensure the security of Israel."