Israeli lawmakers called on the government to retaliate against the Hamas terror organization following a rocket attack on the city of Beer Sheva overnight, warning that Israel was in danger of sliding into an ‘unwanted war’ with Gaza as Israeli deterrence declines.
Late Tuesday night, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the city of Beer Sheva in southern Israel, landing next to a private home.
The building was damaged in the attack, and several people were treated for shock.
Col. (Res.) MK Omar Bar-Lev (Zionist Union) chastised the Israeli cabinet for what he described as the erosion of Israeli deterrence vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip.
“We are sliding into an unwanted war because of the failures of the [security] cabinet, which is focused on internal squabbles instead of focusing on initiatives to lead us forward. We should never have let things get to this point,” Bar-Lev said of the rocket attack, “with a house destroyed in Beer Sheva…the cabinet has no direction, has no initiative and has wasted our deterrence – it is playing into Hamas’ hands, letting them control our fate.”
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid also used the attack as an opportunity to criticize the Netanyahu government, saying Hamas no longer feared IDF responses to their attacks.
“A direct hit by a rocket in Beer Sheva. School has been cancelled across the city. Hamas no longer fears [us], and Netanyahu hides behind squabbles between Bennett and Liberman,” said Lapid, referring to an ongoing tussle between Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman over the IDF’s response to attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip.
“If you want to take credit for successes, you also have to accept responsibility for failures. How much longer will Hamas decide what happens in southern [Israel]?”
On the right, Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev called for major retaliatory strikes to deter Hamas from further attacks.
“We don’t like war, but we are responsible for the lives of our citizens and the state’s security,” Yogev tweeted. “That means the time has come for a response!”
“The time has come for a response that will deter [Hamas] – hit Hamas’ leadership.”
MK Shuli Mualem Refaeli (Jewish Home) said Israel must retaliate with a “hard and painful blow” against the Hamas terror organization.
"We must strike a hard and painful blow on Hamas and its leaders who have crossed the border - literally - to act with determination and force in order to restore the Israeli warning that has eroded, and of course the security of the residents of the south," said Mualem. "Israel does not want war, but it must do everything to protect its citizens and borders."