Keep up offensive until Hamas beaten, Bennett tells IDF
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Keep up offensive until Hamas beaten, Bennett tells IDF

In Facebook post, economy minister says Israel is at a 'historic crossroads' and must disarm terrorist group

Lazar Berman is a former breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, seen in the Knesset, June 09, 2014. (photo credit: FLASH90)
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, seen in the Knesset, June 09, 2014. (photo credit: FLASH90)

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday called for the operation in the Gaza Strip to continue until Hamas is decisively defeated.

In a Facebook post called “A historic crossroads: Now is the time to prevail,” the Jewish Home party leader said, “The State of Israel finds itself at a decisive historical moment. We can subdue Hamas and disarm it from its rockets and tunnels.”

Bennett also said that Israel’s goal should be to render Gaza into a place like the West Bank — “without missile factories, launchers, rockets, and tunnels.”

Israel should agree to an economic investment package once it defeats Hamas, Bennett said, similar to the American Marshall Plan in Germany after World War II.

Bennett emphasized that ceasefires have only allowed Hamas to regroup, and Israel should agree to no more humanitarian windows. He also maintained that Hamas is badly hurt, but not beaten.

“Nasrallah is watching. Islamic State is watching. Iran is watching. The Arab world is watching. Europe and the US are watching.”

“The nation of Israel is watching.”

IDF ground troops look on following an Israeli strike in Gaza (Photo credit: Youtube screen capture)
IDF ground troops look on following an Israeli strike in Gaza (Photo credit: Youtube screen capture)

Bennett ended by expressing his belief that the security cabinet would adopt his suggestions. “Now is the time,” he wrote.

On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the army to resume operations against Hamas members who violated a temporary humanitarian truce, according to a statement released the Prime Minister’s Office.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri announced midday Sunday that the group agreed to a UN request for a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire to take effect at 2 p.m., though UN and Israeli sources say it was Hamas that asked for the truce.

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