Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettEhud Amiton/TPS

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina) spoke with 103 FM Radio about his defense policy and the threats currently facing Israel.

"The greatest change that's happening now is that we're toning down the tactical wars against Hamas and Hezbollah, so that we can turn most of our energy to Iran itself," Bennett explained. "Instead of fighting with Hezbollah and Hamas, we're turning our military, economic, and diplomatic efforts to weakening Iran, because it's the head of the snake. The battle between the wars is turning offensive, to remove the Iranians from Syria. Iran is becoming weaker and maybe we can prevent a third war in Lebanon."

When asked why he is reinstating leniencies for Gaza, Bennett said: "We use a tactic of reward of punishment. If there is quiet it'll be good for them. If there isn't quiet it'll be bad for them. When there is quiet there are merchants, imports and exports, a fishing zone, and we don't attack them. When there are [explosive] balloons we close it all and bomb their bases and factories for rocket production. I personally approve every target and there are no discussions, I promise you."

He also said that despite the leniencies, efforts continue to free the Israelis held in Gaza: "We are holding the bodies of terrorists and we capture Hamas members who cross the border, in order to increase the pain of the other side. That's part of the change that I started."

Regarding his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Bennett said: "Netanyahu has attacked me in politics, but in security he allows me to work and we work in complete harmony. I'm the responsible adult on the right. I won't allow our enemies, [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah and [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar, and our political rivals on the left, the enjoyment of seeing the Defense Minister and Prime Minister bickering."

Slamming the center-left Blue and White party, he said that it is, "A leftist anti-religious party that tried to close the hesder yeshivas."

He added that Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz and MK Moshe Ya'alon (Blue and White) "allowed the Hamas tunnels we [dealt with] in Operation Protective Edge. I fought and caused their destruction. I wanted a surprise attack, but they didn't allow it, and we paid a price."

During 2014's Protective Edge, Gantz was IDF Chief of Staff and Ya'alon was Defense Minister.

He also noted that Blue and White's MKs Yair Lapid and Ofer Shelah "want to evict 80,000 from their homes."

"I will continue to be Defense Minister only if Yamina has enough votes," Bennett added.

Regarding the previous two elections, held in April and September 2019, he explained: "This was a year of ups, and mostly of downs. A year of very tough blows. I became a civilian, and I can't say that I suffered - I enjoyed half a year with my family. I also have a 'scoop': I learned a lot of Torah during that period. I have a very believing soul and it's true that in practice I'm more 'lite' but I have very great faith in G-d and I believe that when we are here in this world, we need to work very hard."