IDF, Security Cabinet Split on Gaza Strategy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office. (Gali Tibbon/Pool via AP/File)

The IDF and the Israeli security cabinet appeared to be at odds on Monday over the strategic considerations in the latest flareup with Gaza terror groups, according to the Times of Israel.

IDF officers contended in a press briefing that the Memorial and Independence Days coming up this week were major factors in the government’s response to the rocket attacks, something that cabinet ministers have denied.

The army said it had been directed to try to bring the fighting to an end before these events, though with as many achievements as possible. The constrictions placed on them prevented them from conducting strikes on Hamas’s longer range rockets, they said.

The IDF version of events was disputed, however. One security cabinet minister told Channel 12, “We were shocked by the army’s briefings. They are not in line with what the chief of staff presented to the cabinet. This is an attempt by the army to push blame onto the cabinet.”

Other cabinet officials referred to other circumstances that justified the ceasefire but without elaborating.

In any case, the assessment at this point was said to be that Hamas and Islamic Jihad were sufficiently hurt that they will not attempt to disrupt the national days with any further attacks.

However, the army continued to argue that unless the economic situation in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority improves significantly, that violent confrontation will recur in the near future.