Thursday, 20 February 2020 | Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday he is prepared to “give Hamas a chance” to fully implement ceasefire understandings. He added that Israel is nonetheless preparing for a military campaign that would lead to “a fundamental change” in the Gaza Strip.
Speaking in an interview with Ynet, just hours after the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] announced further easing of restrictions on the Hamas-controlled enclave, Bennett claimed that if the terror group continues its violent attacks against Israel, they are in for “a very painful spring.”
“If they renew the [explosive] balloon and rocket attacks, we’ll close the border again,” Bennett said, referring to the additional entry permits Israel granted the merchants in Gaza.
“We are preparing for a situation where the quiet will not be preserved… If the quiet is maintained, as has been the case in recent days, it will be good for them. Their actions will determine.”
The New Right leader [Bennett], who used to be one of the main proponents of toppling Gaza’s rulers, sounded more muted in his threats, saying Hamas-led violence along the border has decreased.
“They completely stopped the rioting along the fence, the raids of the night units and smoke grenades. It has been a few days since they stopped the balloon attacks,” he said.
“I remain skeptical, but if the use of military force can be avoided, I prefer it.”
Posted on February 20, 2020
Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Ynetnews on February 19, 2020. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
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