As Israel’s Foreign Ministry launches an international diplomatic effort to convince the world of the merits of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, the top two candidates from Prime Minister in Israel’s upcoming elections, Kadima Party’s Tzipi Livni and the Likud Party’s Benjamin Netanyahu are both hoping to capitalize on domestic support for the invasion.
With top Kadima member Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz hitting out at Defense Minister Ehud Barak over the ceasefire, Livni promised that, if elected, she would topple the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu fired back that the residents of Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip were “paying a hefty price for the mistakes made by Livni and her ministers,” condemning not just the ceasefire but the 2005 decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip in the first place. Netanyahu said Likud will back any government decisions to attack the Gaza Strip.
Livni insists it will be a “strategic objective” of her government to topple Hamas, while Netanyahu called for “a more active policy of attack” and spoke openly of a possible decision to “conquer Gaza”