Senior Likud Minister Says Israel Will Preemptively Strike Hamas Targets
In an interview Saturday with Channel 13, Tzachi Hanegbi laid out the Jewish state’s new security doctrine for the coastal enclave following Operation Guardian of the Walls, which will include the ability for the Israeli military to not wait until after rockets are fired to conduct strikes if it is determined that Hamas is restocking its rocket arsenal and preparing to attack.
“We cannot wait for rocket fire” to initiate strikes on Gaza terrorist targets, Hanegbi said.
“This is a total change of the equation. We’ve never done this,” he said.
Hanegbi also said that the previous security policy under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of tolerating Hamas and allowing the Gaza terrorist group to strengthen was a mistake that will be rectified with the new security doctrine.
He also would not rule out conquering Gaza to remove Hamas from power, but only as a last resort because of the high cost of a ground invasion.
Hanegbi predicted 15 years of quiet in southern Israel after the latest conflict with Hamas based on the peace that has held on the northern border following the 2006 war with Hezbollah.
“I’m very optimistic. I don’t know if it’ll be 15 years, maybe more,” Hanegbi said.