Cabinet meeting
Cabinet meetingHezki Baruch

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday opened the cabinet meeting with harsh criticism of the Palestinian Authority's refusal to attend the economic workshop organized by the United States in Bahrain, and its arrest of a Palestinian Arab businessman who attended the workshop.

"In recent days, the Palestinian Authority arrested a Palestinian businessman. What was his 'crime'? He attended an economic conference that was designed to advance the Palestinian economy. The Palestinian Authority later released the man due to American pressure.

"One thing is clear from all this. The Palestinians are determined to continue the conflict at any price - including at the price of the Palestinians' own benefit. This is not how one who wants to advance peace acts."

Later, Netanyahu referred to the efforts for a truce with Hamas, and promised to intensify sanctions on Gaza if balloon terrorism does not stop.

"We understand the distress of Gaza-area communities and are working to make it as easy as possible for them. Last week we applied sanctions on Hamas, including stopping fuel, and if necessary, we will impose much tougher means on them.”

However, Netanyahu pushed aside criticism over the truce with Hamas and said, "These actions are done in consultation with all the security forces. I am not impressed by the propaganda of the various ‘experts.’ Many of them give us advice they themselves did not implement when they were in the position."

"Let us not be confused, they will also be the first to criticize us after we embark on a large-scale military operation, something we may have to do," he added. “What guides me is one thing, and one thing only - the security of the State of Israel.”

נתניהו: אם נידרש נחריף את הסנקציות על עזה