Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu: Instead of restraint, Israel should topple the Hamas government

In a radio interview Tuesday, the former Likud prime minister questioned the current state leadership’s capabilities for preparing Israel’s armed forces for the “next war.” What should be done now, he said, was to wipe out the burgeoning Palestinian terrorist infrastructure and stem the vast stream of weapons entering Gaza. Instead, the Olmert government was exhibiting weakness by its decision to let eight days of continuous Palestinian ceasefire violations from Gaza go unanswered. In this period, 16 Qassam missiles were fired against Israeli civilian locations.
Amid widening criticism of the government’s decision to accept the Hamas “ceasefire” and its violations, Netanyahu said earlier said that Israel’s restraint had the effect of strengthening Hamas and weakening Palestinian moderates.
Defending the decision, prime minister Ehud Olmert argued to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Monday that the Israeli military operation had not stopped the Palestinian missile offensive. debkafile adds: This further stung the military whose anti-missile operation in northern Gaza he halted mid-stream.
Olmert also explained that if the ceasefire is allowed to gather momentum it could stimulate diplomatic engagement.

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