Benny Gantz: Israel has become a Hamas hostage

Benny Gantz  photo: Eyal Izhar

Political rivals have been quick to blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for this morning's rocket attack

As might be expected two weeks before an election, politicians from across the political spectrum have responded to today's rocket fire at the Sharon by blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Some have taken the trouble to visit the site where the rocket hit to bring home the message.

For his part, President Rueven Rivlin spoke this morning to Lev Hasharon Regional Council head Amir Ritov and said, "This morning you are in our hearts in Jerusalem as well. I have two granddaughters and a grandson in the settlement in your regional council and this morning I told them to go to school and that everything will be alright."

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz said of the rocket fire on the Sharon, "The situation in which the Hamas turns Israel into a hostage is unprecedented. This is security bankruptcy, and Netanyahu must return to Israel to deal with the escalation. Will his mind once more be put at rest by an announcement from Hamas that it was all a mistake, or will he finally deign to concentrate on the security of the country's citizens?"

A statement from the Meretz party said: "Firing at civilians is a war crime. Our thought and hearts are with the families of the injured and we hope for their full and speedy recovery. In the end, deterioration into an all-out conflict is not in Israel's interests, and we must not be dragged into one… The citizens of Israel are paying the price ofr the Netanyahu government's avoidance of diplomatic negotiations. There is no military solution for the Gaza Strip."

Labor leader Avi Gabbay, who visited the site of the house that collapsed as a result of the direct hit by the rocket this morning, said, "Netanyahu is responsible for the dismal security situation. He has lost deterrence and strengthened Hamas. Netanyahu is a prime minister of words and not deeds. A failed prime minister and defense minister. Netanyahu has put security around the Gaza Strip, and now in the center of Israel, back to the early 1950s. The fine speeches, and the suitcases of cash that Netanyahu delivers to Hamas, do not provide security. The time has come to deal with Hamas courageously and not with Netanyahu's timidity."

Habayit Hayehudi and Union of Right Wing Parties leader Rabbi Rafi Peretz said, "A policy that tolerates gas balloon projectiles at Alumim and Ein Habesor (Gaza border settlements) allows the terrorists to fire missiles at Tel Aviv and the Sharon. The proportionality formula has to stop, and we will do everything to change it. I extend my support to the prime minister and the security forces, and I am sure that when I sit at his right-hand side, the response will grow more powerful. There is no room for proportionality."

The New Right party said, "Israel's deterrence has collapsed, and it has to be said honestly: Netanyahu has failed in the face of Hamas. The release of terrorists, the fear of demolishing terrorists' homes, the restraint in the face of missiles at the south - all these things have led Hamas to stop being afraid of Israel. Netanyahu is a good prime minister and a failed defense minister… The time has come to appoint (Naftali) Bennett defense minister to beat Hamas."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 25, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Benny Gantz  photo: Eyal Izhar
Benny Gantz photo: Eyal Izhar
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