Israel’s cabinet at press time was still deciding on a response to the discovery of the bodies of three Jewish teens abducted by Hamas terrorists two weeks ago, but government officials in Jerusalem were already weighing in on what they felt must now be done.
President (outgoing) Shimon Peres: “Alongside mourning, we remain determined to harshly punishing the criminal terrorists. Our war on terror will only increase and will not be weakened so that murderous terror like this is able to raise its head.”
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (pictured): “There is no forgiveness for the murderers of children and their emissaries. Now is the time for action.”
Housing Minister Uri Ariel: “In a war, as in war, one must strike at terrorists mercilessly on the one hand and respond with an appropriate Zionist response on the other.”
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon: “This tragic ending must also mark the end of Hamas! The nation is strong and ready to endure [tragedy] for the sake of a mortal blow against Hamas. … [W]e have to destroy the homes of Hamas activists, wipe out their arsenals everywhere, and stop the flow of money that directly or indirectly keeps terror alive… make the entire Palestinian leadership pay a heavy price.”
Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely: “The despicable kidnapping and murder of the students cannot go by in silence, and the those responsible in Gaza must pay the price. The government of Israel must declare a war to the death on Hamas, which is responsible for the murders, and return to the policy of assassination.”
Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog: “The kidnapping and murder of innocent youths in the dead of the night is a heinous and unforgivable crime. There is no human explanation or justification and I am convinced that the long arm of the security forces will reach the murderers. …We have known painful attacks and overcame them, and so it will be this time. This is our life in this country.”
MK Aryeh Deri (leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party): “Gil-ad, Naftali, Eyal, may God avenge their blood. The price is very heavy, but we, the entire nation of Israel promises, we won’t quickly forget what we learned, the unity, the faith, and the rare power your families have given us will not cease.”