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Father of injured soldier reprimands Netanyahu during phone call – TV

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left); Border Police officer Barel Shmueli (center) who was critically wounded in a shooting on the Gaza border on August 21, 2021; Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right). (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90; Border Police; Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left); Border Police officer Barel Shmueli (center) who was critically wounded in a shooting on the Gaza border on August 21, 2021; Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right). (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90; Border Police; Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The father of an injured IDF soldier chided opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu during their phone conversation, Channel 12 reports, after he reprimanded Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for forgetting his son’s name.

The parents of 21-year-old Border Police officer Barel Hadaria Shmueli — who remains hospitalized in serious condition after he was shot in the head during violence along the Gaza border on Saturday — have heavily criticized the government’s behavior.

“When will you reach the conclusion in this country that our soldiers are not [sitting] ducks?” Yossi Shmueli tells Netanyahu, according to a recording aired by the network. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Likud… or Bennett who called me.”

Shmueli urged the government to take responsibility and formulate a clear policy on the use of live fire on the Gaza border.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) and Yossi Shmueli, the father of wounded soldier Barel Shmueli. (Flash90/Screenshot)

“This is my only son and he’s critically injured. He underwent two surgeries today,” he says in the recording.

Shmueli urges politicians to “stop putting people by the security fence and make a decision on whether to shoot or not. Why isn’t there a clear decision?”

On Monday afternoon, Israeli rapper The Shadow published an audio clip of the conversation between Bennett and Yossi Shmueli. In the conversation, an emotional Yossi questions Bennett over the decision of IDF authorities to station soldiers close to the Gaza border and berates the prime minister as a “coward.”

During the call, Bennett referred to the soldier as Yossi, rather than Barel, angering the injured serviceman’s father. The prime minister later apologized. Netanyahu took the opportunity on Monday to attack the premier over the mixup, but later backed away from the criticism.

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