Meretz demands special Knesset session on Pillar of Defense

Public will be forced to shoulder the high cost of the operation immediately after the elections, party chairwoman warns

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On speaking in the Knesset last year (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On speaking in the Knesset last year (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash 90)

The left-wing Meretz party on Thursday asked to convene a special session of the Knesset to discuss Operation Pillar of Defense and its “social and political price,” focusing on the operation’s impact on the Israeli public.

“The Netanyahu government paid for the ceasefire agreement with bereavement, pain, destruction and three billion shekels (some $750 million),” said Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On.

“The inflated bill will be handed over to the public the day after the elections,” she added, warning that Israeli citizens should expect burdensome new taxes as a result.

Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz likewise criticized the operation, saying it had made Hamas stronger rather than achieving Israel’s objectives.

“Yesterday, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu founded the state of Hamastan in the Gaza Strip,” said Mofaz in comments made on Channel 2 News, insinuating that by reaching a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, Netanyahu had recognized its rule in Gaza.

Mofaz said that while Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi’s involvement in reaching the ceasefire agreement was “very important,” it could not serve as proof that Pillar of Defense had been successful, because “we all know who elected him.”

The Kadima chairman stated that the Netanyahu government had failed to exhaust all its military options. “The next round is around the corner,” he warned.

Kadima MK Dalia Itzik, meanwhile, said Pillar of Defense proved that Netanyahu was a weak prime minister.

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