Netanyahu slams ‘irresponsible’ Bennett for revealing Israeli attacks on Iran

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Answering questions at his press conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slams former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for publicly discussing Israeli attacks on Iran.

“This is extremely irresponsible. You don’t do that. And he doesn’t have the authority to do it — only a sitting prime minister does, and I would do that sparingly as well,” Netanyahu says during a press conference at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Bennett on Thursday revealed that as prime minister, he had directed Israel’s security forces to strike Iran on two occasions in 2022, in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal.

On another question, Netanyahu says the Philadelphi Route, which runs the 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) all along the Gaza-Egypt border, “has to be in our hands” in order to ensure that Gaza is demilitarized and remains demilitarized.

Asked about a leaked report that the High Court is set to narrowly rule to strike down the so-called “reasonableness law,” the only element of his government’s currently frozen judicial overhaul to have become law so far, Netanyahu says issues that divide the public should be “put aside” during the war. His comment would seem to imply that he thinks the justices should delay their ruling.

Later, asked why he doesn’t announce that he is scrapping the entire overhaul, he indicates that he will not do so. “We’ll come back to all these issues” after the war, he says, as is appropriate in a democracy. And others should do the same. “Let’s stay out of that minefield while we’re fighting for the home.”

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