Former MK Omer Bar-Lev, who commanded the Sayeret Matkal special force and whose father served as the IDF’s chief of staff (he followed Yitzhak Rabin at the helm), on Tuesday morning blamed the Netanyahu government of generating military action for political gain.
Bar-Lev told Reshet Bet radio: “Why now? Netanyahu is trying to prevent Gantz from forming a government, seven days before Gantz’s deadline to form a government ends. Very suspicious.”
BREAKING: We just targeted Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al Ata.
Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 12, 2019
The IDF’s early morning statement provided a resounding denial of Bar-Lev’s charges, which, in the light of day, appear “delusional,” as leftwing media love to describe rightwing politicians.
“We just targeted Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al Ata,” the IDF tweeted. “Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. His next attack was imminent.”
Blue&White chairman said that the political echelon (Netanyahu) has made the right decision, and that the fight against terror requires tough choices.
Labor chairman Amir Peretz, who lives in Sderot (where he used to be the mayor) which is currently under Islamic Jihad fire told Reshet Bet he supported the IDF – stopping short of supporting the new defense minister, Naftali Bennett, who gave the order to the IDF, and PM Netanyahu who appointed Bennett to his dream job.
As defense minister, Peretz was behind the Iron Dome project, which continues to block most rockets launched from Gaza, but, as some argue, also permits the constant bloodletting continue on a “tolerable” level.
But former Peace Now director, Yariv Oppenheimer, tweeted Tuesday morning: “Operation Peace for Bibi (a pun on the 1982 Lbanon war known as Operation Peace for Galilee – DI). To stay in [the PM’s residence in] Balfour, Bibi will go to war and endanger an entire country. In fact, it’s happening. There was no shortage of “ticking bombs” and operational opportunities in the last five years, but Israel restrained itself. Suddenly now, just before the establishment of a [Gantz-led minority] government, Bibi returns to the assassinations policy? Only an idiot would think it was accidental.”
But Army Radio on Tuesday morning reported that the IDF passed a message to the Hamas leadership that this morning’s assassination did not mark a return to targeted killings, and was intended only to remove Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu al-Ata. Indeed, no matter what they say publicly, Hamas must be pleased with the elimination of al-Ata, who challenged their authority in the Gaza Strip.
It didn’t stop MK Ofer Cassif (Joint Arab List) from making a direct link between the assassination and Israel’s evolving political reality. He said: “To save his own hide – Netanyahu is doing the only thing he can do: killing, destroying, and warmongering. The bloodshed is on his head.”
Yes, Netanyahu mercilessly takes the lives of an innocent Islamic Jihad human beings.
It’s a day of war in Israel, to be sure, as half the country—all of southern Israel—stays in the bomb shelters. But it marks the arrival of a new defense minister and the chance that he, as so many Israelis are hoping, would bring a concrete and unmistakable end to the threats from Gaza against Israeli civilians. At least for a few years.