Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday took a shot at Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who earlier this week called for Israel to launch "Operation Defensive Shield 2" – an allusion to the large scale operation that drastically scaled back Arab terror in 2002.
Speaking at the Israel Democracy Institute, Ya’alon did not mention Bennett by name, but said that calls for massive IDF operations are “hollow slogans”.
The Defense Minister said that the calls for a large scale operation reminds him of the time period during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. “At the time we heard people say let's go in [to Gaza], destroy and wipe out. These are simply irrelevant statements that are hollow slogans," he said.
"In the current war there are some dilemmas – whether to allow movement in and out of PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria for work purposes, do we demolish homes and what steps can be taken to deter the lone wolf terrorist? Some would say ‘let's hit them now’. Those are statements that have no basis, thinking or discretion behind them," added Ya’alon.
Earlier this week Ya'alon made similar remarks and insisted Israel is always on the offensive against terrorism.
"I hear many say we should return and do Operation Defensive Shield 2 in Judea and Samaria, but we have been on the offensive ever since Operation Defensive Shield," he argued. "The fact that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are unable to raise their heads, and that as a result these terror attacks are essentially individual [i.e. 'lone wolf' – ed.] terrorism, is because we carry out counterterrorist operations every night."
"This terror wave is not accidental," he continued. "It's on the rise in relation to what is happening in the region, it's related to the Palestinian Authority incitement with the Temple Mount – an issue which is currently calmer, but still we have those saying that because Al-Aqsa is in danger, they will attack us."
"The situation is unstable and incitement continues," he added.