Labor MK: Elimination Designed to Prevent Unity Gov’t

Trails of smoke can be seen as rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel at sunrise, Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Opposition leaders expressed support for the IDF’s elimination of Islamic Jihad leader Abu al-Ata Tuesday morning – with the exception of Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev, who accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of orchestrating the hit on Abu al-Ata 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.”

Blue and White head Gantz disagreed, saying that he fully supported the IDF’s actions in eliminating Abu Alata. “The war on terror is an ongoing one and the IDF made a correct decision for the benefit and security of Israelis and residents of the south. Blue and White will back and support all correct actions for the security of Israelis. We will always place security ahead of politics.”

Labor head Amir Peretz made similar comments. “We are here to support residents of the south and the IDF. There is no reason to bring politics into this,” he told Reshet Bet. When asked if he would be willing to join a unity government with Netanyahu and Gantz as part of a national emergency government, Peretz said that “this is another issue in politics that we prefer to keep separate from security. Suffice to say that we will do anything necessary to advance the security of Israel.”

Peretz was also asked about the comments his party mate Bar-Lev made earlier. “I can’t comment on that directly, and as I said, security and politics are two separate things,” Peretz said. “But Bar-Lev is a decorated IDF officer and one of the most knowledgeable people around in security matters. What he says about any security issue needs to be taken seriously. Maybe later on, when things calm down, we will want to convene an inquiry to check these things out, but for now we must support the IDF in its actions.”

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