Israeli strikes into Gaza and the West Bank have increased just days before Israel’s February 10 Parliamentary Election. Two Palestinians have been killed and scores injured as Israel’s “harsh and disproportionate” retaliation to Hamas rocket fire flares up once again.
Is Gaza the type of pawn Israel uses to cure its limp election battle?
The following are some of the positions of Tzipi Livni, head of the Kadima party, and Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud, on key election issues:
“LIVNI: Backed Israel’s unilateral ceasefire in Gaza on January 18 and said the assault greatly boosted the country’s power of deterrence against Hamas and other militant groups. Opposes conducting talks with Hamas, pledges a forceful response to Hamas attacks and supports further attempts to topple the group’s regime in Gaza through military, diplomatic and economic means.
NETANYAHU: Opposed the government’s unilateral ceasefire and said Israel should have continued the operation in order to more effectively halt Hamas’s smuggling of missiles and munitions into Gaza and possibly crush the group.”
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
“LIVNI: Wants to continue negotiations with the moderate, West Bank-based Fatah party on a two-state solution that would create a Palestinian state and allow Israel to preserve its Jewish and democratic nature. Rejects demands for Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes in what is now Israel.
NETANYAHU: Does not rule out the future establishment of a Palestinian state but advocates first improving the Palestinian economy and law enforcement in the West Bank before embarking on talks about the core issues of a final agreement. Objects to the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. ”