Hawks says the decision projected weakness to Hamas and its Islamic fundamentalist allies and sponsors led by Iran; Feiglin: Iran is happy; the next round will be with them.
By GIL HOFFMAN
Knesset members on the Right sharply criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the security cabinet on Saturday night for their decision to withdraw some IDF troops from the Gaza Strip.
They said the decision projects weakness to Hamas and its Islamist fundamentalist allies and sponsors led by Iran.
“The rest of the tentacles of Islamist fundamentalism are happy tonight,” Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said. “There is no doubt that the picture of the IDF ending its ground operation without defeating Hamas encourages our Islamist fundamentalist enemies. If you don’t annihilate Hamas, the next round will be against Iran, Hizbullah, ISIS, and the Islamists inside Israel.”
Feiglin said the real enemy of Israel is not tunnels or rockets, but an “octopus of Islamist fundamentalism” of which Hamas is one tentacle threatening Israel’s future.
“Calling the goal merely neutralizing the tunnels is to fight the symptom, not the problem,” Feiglin said.
“If we fight on only one front, we strengthen the tentacles of the octopus.”
Feiglin blamed Netanyahu for not abandoning his support for a Palestinian state and the entire Oslo diplomatic process, even after Hamas’s latest attack on Israel.
His Likud colleague, MK Danny Danon, said Netanyahu and the security cabinet acted in “the spirit of [Hatnua leader] Tzipi Livni” when it ordered IDF troops to withdraw.
“When facing terrorism, fighting, not hesitating, is required,” he said.
“Hamas has not been defeated and the countdown to the next round has already begun. Without defeating Hamas, long-term quiet will not be achieved.”
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) called upon Netanyahu to convene the cabinet immediately to deal with the security situation and make decisions in the widest forum possible about how to continue efforts to defend the residents of the State of Israel.
Coalition chairman Yariv Levin defended the decision, telling Ynet that “There is no point in staying where we already finished dealing with the tunnels.”
Responding to the criticism from the Right at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu reiterated that “All the options are on the table to guarantee Israel long-term quiet.”