Israeli Hawks Fume as Ceasefire Ends a Violent Day in Gaza

Officials accuse Netanyahu of forcing ceasefire on them

After a massive exchange of rockets and airstrikes on Monday, a ceasefire has returned calm to the Gaza Strip border with Israel. This has led to celebrations in Gaza, but has left a lot of the hawks in Israel’s far-right cabinet fuming, as they’d hoped to parlay the conflict into a much bigger war.

Officials familiar with the seven hour Israeli cabinet meeting before the ceasefire accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of holding the other ministers “hostage” until he got the ceasefire he wanted.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied having ever supported a ceasefire, saying he had consistently called for continued attack, and also sought a major escalation of strikes between the ceasefire decision and when it took effect.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett also led opposition to any ceasefire under any circumstances, saying he’d offered a specific plan of action for a “decisive” defeat of Hamas forever. The details of his proposal are being censored by the Israeli military, and are not available to the public.

In general though, the positions aren’t wildly surprising. Rather, the usual hawks in the Israeli cabinet, who are seemingly always salivating at the idea of a new war, saw a glimpse of such a politically opportune war breaking out, and are inconsolable now that peace has once again broken out.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.