Bennett on Gaza escalation: We are preparing something

Defense Minister delivers implicit threat to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip following latest round of rocket attacks.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bennett and Kochavi
Bennett and Kochavi
Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the recent escalation in the south in an interview with Channel 12 News Tuesday evening.

"I do not want short rounds [of fighting]. Now we have eliminated terrorists in both Gaza and Damascus and made a new rule. The Prime Minister is telling the truth, we are preparing something - but we need a little patience," the defense minister said.

Bennett explained the decision to end the current round of confrontation, saying, "I don't want to do this campaign in a dragged out manner because then you lose a good deal of effectiveness. You don't shoot a terrorist when he's a thousand yards away from you but wait for him to reach 50 yards."

Later, Bennett emphasized the link between the situation in the South and the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. "It has been 15 years since this stupidity of tearing away a piece of land and handing over to the Arabs. I won't give anymore - I won't give another inch of land to the Arabs."

"We need a regular plan under our conditions, not that they will set the rules, but we will set the rules. They have another last chance to behave well," Bennett explained.

The defense minister was asked about criticism of the use of a bulldozer to retrieve the body of a terrorist on the Gaza border and said: "I have been criticized for days from the left that it does not look good. But I fully back the IDF troops, including the chief of staff, because I prefer to send a thousand bulldozers to Gaza will protect IDF soldiers and not send soldiers like sitting ducks in a shooting range. I really like hearing advice from [former Defense Minister Moshe] Ya'alon. We saw how during Operation Protective Edge he was afraid of destroying the tunnels."

"I set a goal to bring home the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oren Saul and the others. How will I do it? With a ballet dance?", Bennett continued. "So if things have to be done that don't look good on TV - I will do it. And if more bodies are to be collected - I will collect more bodies and if we have to pick up live terrorists we do that too. We will produce bargaining cards to hurt them, it will be enough to be suitors in front of Hamas."

Bennett also criticized Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman, accusing him of compromising state security after Lieberman discussed the meeting the Mossad chief and the head of the Southern Command held in Qatar.

"This leak is a shame and disgrace," Bennett attacked. "It's a field security offense. And the most amazing thing - the one who conceived, designed and executed all these cash deals is no less than Liberman. I don't want to go in circles, I want quiet until we reboot. But Liberman has no shame, hes the one who started the delivery of these sacks of money. When we reboot, we reboot everything. Unlike Liberman, I do not intend to compromise the security of the state for the sake of votes. I am responsible for the lives of civilians in Israel. And I tell the southern residents - I am obliged to restore their security.