Bennett: Gantz, Ya’alon’s methods in war led to IDF soldier deaths, kidnapping

New Right party leader Naftali Bennett accuses political rivals ex-army chief Benny Gantz and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon of being responsible for the deaths of two IDF soldiers and the snatching by Hamas terrorists of one their bodies during the 2014 conflict in the Gaza Strip.

“This entire terrible incident stems from the rules of engagement that Benny Gantz and Bogie placed on IDF soldiers,” Bennett says using Ya’alon’s nickname during an interview with Radio 103FM.

Gantz was Israel Defense Forces chief of staff and Ya’alon was defense minister during Operation Protective Edge, a seven-week conflict during which the IDF battled against Hamas-led Palestinian terror groups inside the Gaza Strip. A key Israeli objective was the destruction of cross-border tunnels dug by Hamas and used to carry out attacks inside Israeli territory.

There were various temporary lulls in the fighting indirectly agreed to by Israel and Hamas, sometimes only on specific areas of the Palestinian coastal enclave. During one of those lulls, on August 1, 2014, IDF Maj. Benaya Sarel and Lt. Hadar Goldin were participating in an operation to find and destroy Hamas tunnels. They were ambushed by Hamas gunmen and both killed. Hamas members grabbed Goldin’s body and his remains, along with the remains of another IDF soldier Oron Shaul who was killed in a separate incident. The bodies of both soldiers are believed to be held by Hamas.

Bennett claims the operation under which Sarel was killed and Goldin kidnapped was done “under terrible rules of engagement. They sent soldiers, told them ‘Go and deal with the tunnels but don’t open fire.”

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