Bennett: ‘I’m Not a Rubber Stamp’

YERUSHALAYIM -
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Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, leading a faction meeting at the Knesset last month. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Education Minister Naftali Bennett continued to press his criticism of the handling of the Gaza crisis on Monday, saying, “I am not a rubber stamp” for the government’s policy.

“I am in the cabinet to defend the citizens of Israel. There isn’t unity and there doesn’t need to be unity,” in the cabinet, he told Channel 2 on Monday night.

His current insistence on shooting launchers of fire kites and balloons is, he said, consistent with the stand he took during the 2014 Gaza war when he demanded that location and destruction of Hamas terror tunnels be made a priority.

Bennett and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot got into a heated argument over it on Sunday night that was leaked to the press.

Bennett advocated shooting “anyone who launches aerial weapons at our communities… There is no legal impediment. Why shoot next to them and not directly at them? These are terrorists for all intents and purposes.”

Eisenkott reportedly said that most of the gangs flying the balloons and kites were teens and children, and “I do not believe that shooting kids who sometimes fly kites and balloons is the right thing to do.”

On Monday, Bennett asserted that the job of the IDF is to carry out the orders of the security cabinet.

“We have an excellent chief of staff,” he told Hadashot news. But, he added, “his job is to implement. He does not outline a policy.”

Meanwhile, in the latest terror tactic, Palestinians sent a bird from Gaza into Israel with an explosive material attached to it.

The falcon was discovered on Monday near the Besor River, in the Negev.