Leader of Blue and White party and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main opponent in the forthcoming elections in March, Benny Gantz, accused the government of failing to stop Palestinian rockets launched from the besieged Gaza Strip.
In a heated debate on Monday, which ended with Gantz storming out of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), the leader of the Kahol Lavan (Blue and White) party accused Netanyahu’s government of failing to restore calm in Southern Israel, and along the fences separating besieged Gaza from Israel.
#Hamas spokesperson Dr. @BasemN63 says #Israeli airstrikes in #Gaza are a proof of the humanitarian crisis in the region. He says two million people are living under Israeli siege with all sorts of operations.
— Indus News (@indusdotnews) February 10, 2020
Gantz’s sentiment was also repeated by other Israeli parliamentarians, including Amir Peretz and Nitzan Horowitz, leaders of Labor and Meretz parties respectively.
Israel’s new Defense Minister, Naftali Bennett, responded to Gantz’s accusations, but only after the latter had abandoned the debate.
Benny Gantz "Blue and White Party Chief" visiting southern Israel forced to take shelter from Gaza rocket. pic.twitter.com/3bN5gLk9fP
— Local Focus – Security Alerts (@LocalFocus1) February 1, 2020
“Netanyahu, in recent years you have turned the Gaza border region into the region captive to Gaza, and every day and every night the border region is held captive to Gaza,” Gantz exclaimed at the Knesset, reported the Jerusalem Post.
Not only does #Gaza have electricity crisis, water crisis, medical crisis, poverty crisis, & occupation and siege crisis, but also it has gas crisis. Palestinian citizens wait in lines for hours just to get some cooking gas for their homes if they managed to get any!
— mariam ghnem (@GhnemMariam) February 5, 2020
“The children of southern Israel can only dream of quiet while you are getting more and more disconnected from reality… because the Red Alert (rocket warnings) doesn’t really bother you,” Gantz added.
Hitting back, Bennett accused Gantz of being one of the “architects of the failure to deal with the terror tunnels from Gaza to Israel.”
Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.
— Therese (@Th2shay) July 20, 2019
“Despite their continuous complaints and while Gaza is starving, southern Israeli communities have seen constant growth in economic opportunity, thus population,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud.
“This fact has placed these areas at the center of Israeli politicians’ radar, all trying to win favor with their leaders and obtain the support of their vastly expanding economic sectors,” Baroud added.
“This recent electoral strength has made the demands and expectations of Israeli southern community leaders a focal point in mainstream Israeli politics.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)