Bezalel Smotrich

Smotrich against the war cabinet: "They're setting a trap"

Smotrich proposed a different way of 'cutting off oxygen to Hamas': occupation of Rafah and full possession of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

Bezalel Smotrich (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich slammed the war cabinet's decision to send an Israeli delegation to hostage negotiations with Hamas in Cairo today (Tuesday).

"Sending the delegation to Cairo is a mistake. We are falling into the manipulative trap set for us by Hamas together with Qatar and Egypt. This is the time to put more and more pressure on the necks of Sinwar and Hamas until they are destroyed. We must speak only with fire. We must not give in to international pressure and we must not stop until victory is achieved and the enemy is subdued. This is our 'War for Independence' and we must win it," he was quoted as saying.

Smotrich was referring to the Prime Minister Office's announcement regarding Hamas' proposal for a ceasefire. The delegation will go to Cairo in order to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel.

Smotrich's counter-proposal to the war cabinet

Smotrich proposed his own solution for restoring peace to southern Israel and quelling Hamas "in order to cut off the terrorist group's oxygen pipes:"

1. Full occupation of Rafah and the surrounding area.

2. Destruction of all underground tunnels in Rafah and the surrounding area.

3. Full possession of the Philadelphi Corridor (strip of land connecting Egypt and Gaza) and the Rafah crossing. Immediately after that, we will continue to Deir al-Balah and the refugee camps in central Gaza, completing the disbanding of the remaining Hamas battalions.

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