Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Thursday to a remark made by Likud Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi about the present security situation that set off a firestorm among Israelis, in which Hanegbi said in an Israeli radio interview that Hamas’ military response this week was “measured” — and that an attack on Tel Aviv would have had “different implications.”
The remark whipped up a hurricane of rage from an already rocket-battered public in southern Israel.
“This morning I heard an outrageous remark, and even following an apology, I have to put things straight,” Netanyahu said in a response shortly after.
“Sderot is just like Tel Aviv. The security of the residents of the south is just as important as the security of the rest of Israel,” he said.
“We are in the middle of a campaign. Patience, cool and determination are necessary. We are preparing for what comes next.”
What comes next, however, is completely unclear to most of the country; about 70 percent is united in its anger at the prime minister for agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas before any real deterrence was established against Gaza’s ruling terrorist organization.
Polls show that the majority of Israelis are very unhappy with the way Netanyahu has handled this most recent military flareup with Hamas — including Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who this week resigned from his post in frustration, saying Netanyahu had “surrendered to terror.”