Knesset Holds Special Session on Gaza Periphery Under Fire

YERUSHALAYIM -
Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz.
(Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The opposition Blue and White party called a special session of the Knesset on Monday to discuss funding for Gaza border communities hard pressed by ongoing arson attacks.

The session was put on the agenda by request of more than 25 MKs, mostly from Blue and White, while the Knesset is officially in recess, according to The Times of Israel.

The party said it had invited residents of these communities to come “to discuss the government’s disregard for and lack of attention to them.”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that “we understand the distress of the communities in the [Gaza] envelope area and we are working to make things as easy as possible. Last week we imposed heavy sanctions on Hamas, including stopping the fuel supply. If necessary, we will act with other, much heavier means. These actions are carried out in consultation with all the security forces.”

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz has been pressuring PM Netanyahu for a tougher policy, and demanded “strong attacks” on Hamas in retaliation for the incendiary balloons that have plagued the south.

However, Netanyahu dismissed the criticism, saying, “I’m not impressed by the propaganda of the ‘experts.’ Many of them give us advice they themselves did not implement when they were on duty.”

The prime minister also predicted that if he were to order a major offensive in Gaza, it would not placate the critics:

“And make no mistake, they will also be the first to criticize us after we embark on a large-scale military operation, which we may be forced to do. So what guides me is only one thing — the security of the State of Israel,” the prime minister said.