'Since I assumed office, we eliminated 30 terrorists'

Defense Minister Bennett on the situation in Gaza: We are bombing Hamas bases in retaliation for balloon attacks.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Kobi Richter/TPS

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett was interviewed on Saturday night on Channel 12 News and addressed the situation in Gaza since he assumed the post.

"Three months before and after I came in, the volume of rocket fire dropped by 80 percent, the riots on the fence that were going on for two years have completely stopped," the Defense Minister said. "We are bombing Hamas bases in retaliation for the firing of balloons, which was not the case before. I will explain the approach: reward and punishment. If they are quiet, they will have it good. Since I took office, we have eliminated 30 terrorists, no soldier has fallen or been injured, there has been one injury to a civilian.”

"The responsibility is mine, I am not crying, not complaining. The Prime Minister may have intervened once in three months in a professional decision. He doesn’t stop me or makes it difficult for me,” Bennett added. "Since becoming the Defense Minister, I have changed so many things. We are eliminating Hamas members to be used as bargaining chips."

"Hamas people who have crossed the fence in the past, we used to kick them back to Gaza. Now we don’t do that. If they are dangerous, we will keep them in custody," he continued. "We have two bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul that we have not yet brought home and I have appointed a working team that is directly subordinate to me, and we are working to bring them back but not in the usual way, not to release terrorists."

Regarding Iran, he said, "For decades, there has been an Iranian octopus sitting in Tehran and sending terrorist arms to Lebanon, as well as Hamas, to harm us, and we are sending our soldiers to fight against those arms. This is not the correct strategy, we have to go for the head of the octopus and weaken it, exhaust it so its arms dry out."