MK calls for Gaza blackouts

Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Yuval Steinitz wants one-hour power outage in Gaza Strip for every Qassam fired at Israel, calls for large-scale counter-terror operation Israel should launch a large-scale counter terror operation, similar to operation Defense Shield in 2002, in order to curb attacks on Israel, Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Yuval Steinitz said, speaking at a political forum in Be’er Sheva Saturday. Another proposal by Steinitz was to impose a one-hour power outage in the Gaza Strip every time a Qassam lands in Israeli territory, with a one-day blackout in case of Israeli casualties. „An absurd situation has been created where we provide them with electricity and they bomb the power station in Ashkelon,” he said. Referring to a large-scare ground operation, Steinitz said „there is one solution and it isn’t artillery fire, but rather, a comprehensive ground operation as was the case after the terror attack in Netanya’s Park hotel (in 2002.)” „There are two alternatives: Either the Palestinian Authority fights terror and at least undertakes a 100 percent effort, or we’ll take care of it,” he said. Steinitz added he opposes artillery attacks on residential areas and said „we have not reached a situation where we can respond with massive fire on Gaza population centers.” Lieberman: We’re idiots and nerds Another politician who spoke at the forum, Meretz-Yachad Chairman Yossi Beilin, addressed upcoming Palestinian Authority elections. „The Israeli government woke up too late in an effort to prevent Hamas from taking part in the elections,” he said. „Elements in Israel’s Right that preferred Hamas over the PLO are to a large extent responsible for the boosting in Hamas’ strength, and today we’re all paying the price for that mistake.” „I’m cautious but I do not discount the possibility that in the event Hamas changes its stance and is willing to talk (with Israel), I’m not sure we could avoid talking to them,” he said. Israel Our Home Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, meanwhile, chose to first address the growing violence within Israeli society, referring to it as a „problem we ignore and run away from.” „The security issue is not Ashkelon. LAW rockets (fired by mob figures) in Netanya endanger us no less,” he said, adding that Israel needs a Rudolph Giuliani who will maintain order and provide Israelis with security. Regarding the Palestinian threat, Lieberman added: „We fire on sand while they fire on Ashkelon. If I was the prime minister I would not leave one Jihad or Hamas headquarters standing. But we’re idiots, cheap, and nerds.”