Opposition Politicians Lambaste Netanyahu Over Gaza War Report

Party leaders Isaac Herzog, Zehava Galon and Avigdor Lieberman have all criticized the PM over the report, but Bennett and Lapid have so far remained silent.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Ministe Moshe Ya'alon watching a Golani Brigade exercise.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Defense Ministe Moshe Ya'alon watching a Golani Brigade exercise. Credit: GPO

Opposition politicians have been quick to criticize both the behavior of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as described by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira in his draft report on the 2014 war in Gaza and the outraged responses to the report by people close to the premier.

The draft report on the fighting in Gaza was distributed earlier this week to Netanyahu and the ministers who were members of the security cabinet in the summer of 2014.

"Then, just as today, the 'talking cabinet' dealt with slogans against Hamas instead of with stopping and striking the heads of Hamas," said Zionist Union chairman and opposition leader Isaac Herzog in a response on Twitter.

"It turns out that not everyone who shouts is actually scary. Instead of triumphing over the comptroller, who is a very serious man, they should deal with beating Hamas."

Meretz leader Zehava Galon said that the main conclusion arising from the draft report was that "a bunch of losers is running this country and a crowd of nonentities sent people to their deaths."

"Somehow, Netanyahu himself is never to blame for anything. He's simply surrounded by evil people. It happens."

Galon also took aim at the members of the security cabinet during Operation Protective Edge, who, she said, "saw that the prime minister wasn't telling them anything; saw Netanyahu and Ya'alon running a failed war and didn't do anything. They kept quiet."

"Afterwards, after the damage had been done and the dead had been buried, they went to visit and cry."

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, who was foreign minister during the Gaza war, said that Netanyahu's response to the report "shows above all that Israel's current leadership, headed by Netanyahu and Ya'alon, is a leadership that shirks away from responsibility, is unable to make the necessary decisions and is incapable of guaranteeing the safety of Israel's citizens."

"What's just as bad is that like before [Operation] Protective Edge, Israel today is also only responding to Hamas' actions and threats and doesn’t take any real initiative to fundamentally change the situation and to remove the continuing and growing threat from Gaza," Lieberman said.

Surprisingly, perhaps, Education Minister Naftali Bennett has not responded to the report. Bennett was one of the most outspoken members of the security cabinet during the war, calling for the complete overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza and claiming a decisive role in the action against the tunnels.

Another prominent politician who has remained quiet about the comptroller's report is Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who served as finance minister during the 2014 war.

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