Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended on Wednesday his government’s actions during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, in the aftermath of a scathing report on the military operation by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira.
A special Knesset committee hearing was convened to question Netanyahu on the 50-day summer war with the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas. More than 70 Israelis, including more than 60 soldiers, were killed during the conflict.
“We threatened Hamas until Hamas’s military begged its foreign political leadership to agree to a cease-fire and told them, ‘We can’t continue anymore!’” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister also claimed the deterrence created by Israel’s military action in the war was effective, and he deemed the operation a success in light of the current lull in rocket fire emanating from Gaza.
Bereaved families sitting on the sidelines of the hearing angrily confronted the prime minister.
In a highly emotional testimony, Dr. Leah Goldin—the mother of fallen Israeli soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose remains are held by Hamas—scolded the government. “My son has gone from being a heroic fighter to a debt of a body. Shame on you all,” she said.
When Member of Knesset Miki Zohar, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, responded to Goldin that her criticism was “not okay,” she called the lawmaker an “insolent man” and threw a cup of water at him.
The comptroller’s report accuses the government of dragging out the war for too long and alleges that Netanyahu did not properly update his security cabinet ministers, nor the Israeli population, regarding the threat posed by Hamas’s terror tunnels.