Arab MKs Slam IDF Elimination, Blame Netanyahu for a ‘Political War’

A Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist stands guard at the scene of an Israeli strike that killed the group’s field commander Baha Abu Al-Ata in Gaza City, Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

While nearly all MKs and party leaders expressed support for the IDF’s actions in Gaza Tuesday, there were exceptions – mostly members of the United Arab List, who condemned the IDF, the government – and especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – for a “cynical and brutal political trick,” according to UAL MK Aida Tomeh-Suleiman.

“The cynicism of Netanyahu knows no limits,” she said. “He started this war as a political tactic. This man must be stopped immediately.”

UAL head Ayman Odeh chimed in as well, saying that “Netanyahu lost two elections in a row, and he intends to leave behind him scorched earth in a desperate attempt to remain on the job. For ten years, his main purpose in waking up has been to figure out ways to deepen the occupation and chase away any opportunity for peace. He did that again today.”

UAL MK Hiba Yazbek criticized the elimination of top Gaza terror commander Abu Alata Tuesday morning. “This war is not just a political tactic, but an extension of the occupation, which is based on blockades and targeted eliminations. No one dares say that we have had enough of occupation and war, all the Israeli parties support blockades and occupation. Netanyahu starts a war and everyone supports it.”

Earlier, Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev accused Netanyahu of orchestrating the hit on Abu Alata for this week in order to make it impossible for Benny Gantz to include the United Arab List in his coalition negotiations. “This action could have been taken last week or last month,” he told Reshet Bet. “The only reason Netanyahu waited until now was to make it harder for Gantz to form a government.”

Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer agreed, calling Tuesday’s rocket attacks on Israel “The Peace for Bibi War,” echoing the Peace for Galilee campaign that Israel conducted against Hezbollah. “In order to remain in power, Netanyahu is making war and endangering all of us. There have been plenty of ‘ticking time bombs’ and opportunities to carry out actions like this over the past five years. But Israel waited. All of the sudden [sic], right before the formation of a government [by Gantz], Netanyahu ‘remembers’ that he needs to carry out this action.”

A Likud source told Yisrael Hayom that this is what Gantz could expect if he forms a government that relies on UAL votes for its formation. “The first time Gantz sends out an IDF team to eliminate a terrorist, his ‘allies’ will jump ship and accuse him of being a ‘warmonger,’ just as they are accusing Netanyahu. Does that mean that Gantz will hold off on attacking terrorists or carrying out targeted killings in order to satisfy his partners and keep his government together? This is just a small example of what Israelis are in for if Gantz forms a government relying on Arab MKs.”

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