HAWKISH Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested today that the time had come for a military reoccupation of Gaza.
He said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government was considering taking over the under-siege Palestinian state, claiming that “limited action” had been counterproductive and strengthened ruling party Hamas.
“We need to decide whether we are going with an alternative that entails fully conquering the Gaza Strip,” the minister told Army Radio.
“We have seen that limited military action only strengthens Hamas and therefore the alternative is clear.
“Either with each round we attack terror infrastructure and they shoot, or we go to full occupation.”
Mr Lieberman was speaking after Israeli air force planes launched attacks on 12 locations in Gaza, targeting concealed rocket launchers, weapons manufacturing sites and what it called “terror activity” sites.
The bombing raids were ostensibly in retaliation for six rockets fired from Gaza on Saturday night, two of which hit a factory in Sderot, setting it ablaze.
However, he made no mention of Israel's ongoing thousands-strong Israeli army rampage through the West Bank, during which five Palestinians have been shot dead and nearly 500 seized by the occupation regime.
Israel repatriated its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but still controls all access to the territory by air, land and sea.
Tel Aviv launched two military onslaughts against Gaza in 2009 and 2012.
Mr Netanyahu announced yesterday that he was also considering outlawing the Islamic Movement in Israel, following calls in support of capturing Israeli soldiers at a demonstration in Umm al-Fahm on Friday.
“In many cases, those behind such calls and demonstrations are from the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” he said.
“It constantly preaches against the state of Israel and its people publicly identify with terrorist organisations such as Hamas.”
Israel has arrested movement leader Raed Salah, an Israeli citizen, on a number of occasions, banning him from Jerusalem, accusing him of incitement.
Mr Salah has called for a third intifada against Israel.