Gantz Blasts Netanyahu: Bragging About Secret Army Ops Could Endanger Soldiers

Hosen L'Yisrael chairman says the prime minister crossed 'a red line' and desecrated 'the holy of holies' by exposing Syria strike as war of words escalates

File photo: Former Israeli Chief of Staff Benny Gantz speaks at the official launch of his election campaign in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2019.
Oded Balilty/AP

Former Israeli military chief and Hosen L'Yisrael party chairman Benny Gantz accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday of potentially putting soldiers in danger by exposing covert activity by the Israeli army, a day after Netanyahu confirmed an Israeli attack in Syria.

In a political event with his party's top officials ahead of the April 9 election, Gantz implored Netanyahu to leave the military out of the campaign, calling it "a red line" and "the holy of holies".

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"We're both patriots, and we're now competing against each other," Gantz, seen as Netanyahu's main rival, said. "I ask and even demand – there's one thing that should be totally forbidden, breaching security secrecy code and bragging about the Israel Defense Forces' secret activity, which may put IDF soldiers at risk."

Netanyahu's Likud Party pushed back, saying in a statement: "The last person who should preach is Benny Gantz, who admitted to risking the lives of Golani Brigade soldiers for the lives of Palestinians," referring to the recording of a speech Gantz gave in 2015 that resurfaced last month concerning a contentious incident during the 2014 Gaza war.

Netanyahu and Gantz's war of words has escalated in recent days. Gantz on Tuesday published videos on social media on slamming Netanyahu’s policies toward Hamas in Gaza, his support for the 2005 Gaza pullout, Israel’s high cost of living and the country’s health system troubles.

The prime minister claimed in videos published by him that Gantz represents a "weak left" and slammed him for his alleged role in an 2000 incident in which Druze border policeman Madhat Yusuf was abandoned at Joseph’s Tomb near the West Bank city of Nablus and bled to death.