Netanyahu Says During His Rule Hamas 'Knew it Would Pay a Price', Under Bennett 'They Feel Weakness'

© AP Photo / Adel HanaMasked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, march with their rifles along the main road of the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, 28 October 2021.
Masked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, march with their rifles along the main road of the Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, 28 October 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.05.2022
The Sunni militant organisation Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, remains in a protracted conflict with Israel, which has blacklisted the group as a terrorist organisation, a view that is shared by the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and the EU.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has posted a series of tweets, in which he lashed out at the current government’s alleged inability to tackle terrorism and rein in the Islamist group Hamas.
In one of the messages, he claimed that under his leadership, Hamas “knew it would pay a price”, but that “under [Prime Minister Natali] Bennett they feel his weakness and grow bold”.

“When terrorism encounters weakness, it raises its head,” but when terrorists see “power, they act vice versa", Netanyahu tweeted, adding that “the decade of the Likud [party] and Netanyahu was the quietest and safest in the history” of the Jewish state.

The Israeli former prime minister argued that “instead of fighting terrorism, Bennett's government of fraud and weakness is preoccupied with false briefings”.

Netanyahu went on to claim that “as usual”, Bennett and his ministers “forget the facts” that “it was Netanyahu who ordered the assassination of Ahmad Jabari, the commander of Hamas' military wing, and Abu al-Atta, the senior commander of Islamic Jihad”.

The ex-prime minister also tweeted that he had purportedly ordered Operation Guardian of the Walls extended in an effort to kill Hamas’ current leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s military wing.
Separately, the former Israeli PM referred to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF)’ special operation to disrupt the infrastructure of the underground tunnels in Gaza under his leadership. Netanyahu tweeted that “200 terrorists were eliminated during the operation, including 25 senior [Hamas] commanders”.

Liberman Accuses Netanyahu of Preventing Killings of Hamas Leaders

The tweets came in response to remarks by Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, who accused Netanyahu of torpedoing proposals to target Hamas leaders for assassination during his time as prime minister.
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Speaking to the broadcaster Channel 12, Liberman asserted that Netanyahu approved the release of Sinwar, as part of the prisoner exchange deal for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit back in 2011. Shalit was captured and held by Palestinian militants from June 2006 to October 2011.
The Israeli finance minister also argued that Netanyahu “was the one who prevented any attempt to kill the heads of Hamas”.
The Islamist group, blacklisted by Israel as a terrorist organisation, is in a protracted conflict with the Jewish state. In May 2021, Israel and Hamas exchanged missile strikes for 11 days, in what became the worst bilateral conflagration in recent years.
The standoff, sparked by the Israeli Supreme Court’s ruling to evict six Palestinian families from an East Jerusalem neighbourhood, prompted Hamas militants to fire over 3,700 rockets into southern and central Israel, with Tel Aviv responding with hundreds of air and missile strikes into Gaza.
A dozen Israelis and at least 230 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, with more than 100 Israelis and in excess of 3,000 Palestinians injured. Human Rights Watch accused “both sides” of committing war crimes by targeting civilian areas.
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