Jerusalem: The conflict that was raging for past two days between Hamas and Israel, with the former launching 400 rocket attacks, followed by Israel’s crushing air raids, seems to have quietened down. Although a ceasefire is in effect between the two sides, there is a major political turmoil in Israel over the issue. The Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman has resigned saying Israel’s acceptance of the ceasefire amounts to surrender before the terrorists.
By stepping up the military deployment of ground forces and tanks near the Gaza border, Israel had shown signs of a massive response against Hamas’s rocket attacks. A major conflict was, therefore, being predicted given the developments. However, despite the continuous attacks from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli security committee announced a ceasefire on Tuesday afternoon to everyone’s surprise.
The decision was taken in presence of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Nevertheless, within the next few hours, it was clear that a few politicians in the government including Defence Minister Lieberman were opposed to the decision. Israeli people also took to the streets to protest against the ceasefire. The agitated Israeli public even resorted to arson at a few places to protest against Netanyahu’s decision.
Wednesday morning, Defence Minister Lieberman tendered his resignation, heavily criticising Netanyahu’s ceasefire decision. ‘What we’re doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security,’ Lieberman warned. At the same time, he demanded the Israeli Parliament to declare early elections for Israel‘s security.
Israeli Education Minister and leader of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett has demanded the Defence Minister’s position from Prime Minister Netanyahu. Bennett has threatened to quit the coalition government if his demand is not met. Following Bennett, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and its Minister for Strategic Affairs and also Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin too criticised Netanyahu’s decision.
Meanwhile, Hamas has welcomed the decision for a ceasefire and has claimed Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation as a victory for them.