While Israel is under rocket fire after the elimination of the commander of the Al-Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad, there are different opinions on the current situation. In light of the present political entanglement, it is very interesting to hear how the politicians are commenting.
Normally during times of war and violence the whole political spectrum is in agreement. The Chairman of the Blue White party Benny Gantz, who otherwise rarely agrees with Netanyahu, expressed his support for the recent operation in Gaza.
“The fight against terrorism continues and calls for tough decisions. At the political level and in the Israeli army the right decision was made (to eliminate Abu al-Ata) for the safety of Israeli citizens and residents of the South.”
“Blue White will support all appropriate security measures for Israel and put public safety above politics. Any terrorist who endangers our security is a dead one.”
Gantz, the former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, has long argued for a harder crackdown in the Gaza Strip.
President Reuven Rivlin
President Rivlin also commented on the situation and called on citizens to abide by the guidelines for their own safety. “Please, Israeli citizens, observe the lifesaving guidelines provided by the IDF Home Front Command,” he pleaded.
He then pledged the support of the army and government officials to protect the people of Israel and declared that now was not the time for political disputes.
Former Home Secretary Gideon Sa’ar also applauded the successful operation: “I congratulate the Prime Minister and Defense Minister [Netanyahu], the Israeli army and security forces on the decision, and their implementation, to eliminate Baha Abu al-Ata. The Israeli people are in agreement and this unity should also be reflected politically. More power to Israel. The aim is now to reduce the military infrastructure of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.”
Amir Peretz, the Chairman of the Labor Party, commented on recent events on Facebook. “In these times, the most important thing is to fully support the Israeli soldiers and strengthen the people whose steadfastness has been Israel’s true strength over the years.” Peretz agreed with Rivlin that now is not the time for political issues and that the safety of Israeli citizens is paramount.
Joint Arab List
The Joint Arab List faction also commented on the events. However, as expected, they took a less positive view of Netanyahu and the recent decision to take out the Islamic Jihad commander. “To save his skin, Netanyahu does the only thing he can do: kill, destroy and sound off. There has murder on the brain.” It seems that national unity and the primacy of Israeli citizens’ security above politics is of no concern for these Arab-Israeli politicians.
Netanyahu: “Ticking time bomb”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and Chief of Security Nadav Argaman, that the Islamic Jihad terrorist Baha Abu al-Ata was a ticking time bomb that has caused great suffering to Israel in numerous attacks in the past and continued to threaten Israeli civilians and security forces.
“Last year, this arch-terrorist caused most of the Gaza Strip’s terrorism. He initiated and planned many terrorist attacks. He fired hundreds of rockets at the [Israeli] border towns. He was a ticking time bomb.”
Netanyahu praised the Israeli security forces for the successful operation which he claims shows that “Israel can reach its enemies everywhere.”