Gantz says the opposition “will back every responsible and determined action by the government to restore calm and strengthen deterrence.”
He urges Netanyahu to announce that Yoav Gallant will be staying on as defense minister “with no buts… and no conditions.”
This is “essential to operational success and national security,” he says.
And he urges the prime minister to ignore the extremists in his coalition while handling this crisis. “Netanyahu must act responsibly in handling this situation — he must not rely on the security cabinet… on irresponsible extremists… who will harm national security.”
He says Netanyahu needs to set up a smaller forum to run the situation because “lives are at stake.”
He tells Israel’s neighbors that Israel “maintains and protects freedom of worship — we’ve let more people come to [worship at] the Temple Mount [in recent weeks]. But we won’t let mosques become nests of terror.”
“Don’t fall for the extremists trying to fan the flames,” he says. “We respect the status quo… We all want the holiday season to pass quietly, without wars.”
To Israelis, he says, Israel must remain a democratic, Jewish state. “We won’t compromise on the battle for the nature of our country. We won’t compromise on our security.”