Benny Gantz
Benny GantzYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) has clarified that Israel will not allow "drizzles" of rockets or incendiary or explosive balloons following the end of Operation Guardian of the Walls.

In an interview with Kan's Yaron Deckel and Roy Sharon, Gantz emphasized that Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif are still targets. When asked if his close cooperation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would lead the two to form a government together, he answered, "No."

"Gaza is not going anywhere, and we certainly are not going anywhere," Gantz said in the interview. "I intend that the IDF's response policy should be even harsher, so that we can try as much as possible to distance it so that it will not happen. If they challenge us, we will continue to fight."

Regarding the possibility of destroying Hamas entirely, Gantz said that it is possible, but will require that Israel retake Gaza: "I am not saying that it's not an option that might happen one day, but we are doing well in that we are trying to make the most of other levels of action. We are acting responsibly, both from a diplomatic perspective and from a security perspective."

"If one day we need to conquer Gaza - we will do that."

He added that the US did not give Israel an ultimatum forcing the end of Operation Guardian of the Walls.

Regarding the return of the missing and captive Israelis, Gantz said: "We have a better opportunity to advance the issue of the captive and missing in light of what we did in Gaza, and in light of what Gaza needs. We did not end the battle to bring home our boys by any means. We will need to make a diplomatic decision regarding what we agree to and what we do not. They will not be able to see rehabilitation and humanitarian acts more than absolutely necessary, unless our sons are returned home."

On the issue of Jews ascending the Temple Mount, he said: "Jews will be able to visit the Temple Mount. Jews will live where they want and where the court says they can live. We will act as a state of law and we will do it in accordance with security considerations. The one who decides whether Jews can ascend [the Temple Mount] is the police - that's how it was and that's how it will always be. Israel has preserved freedom of religion in Jerusalem during the most difficult days, and it is good that it has done so."