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April 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Bereaved Families Scold Netanyahu in Gaza War Hearing, PM Defends Operation

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Dr. Leah Goldin, the mother of fallen Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin, testifying during a Knesset committee hearing on April 19, 2017. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended on Wednesday his government’s actions during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, in the aftermath of a scathing report on the military operation by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira.

A special Knesset committee hearing was convened to question Netanyahu on the 50-day summer war with the Gaza-ruling terror group Hamas. More than 70 Israelis, including more than 60 soldiers, were killed during the conflict.

“We threatened Hamas until Hamas’s military begged its foreign political leadership to agree to a cease-fire and told them, ‘We can’t continue anymore!’” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister also claimed the deterrence created by Israel’s military action in the war was effective, and he deemed the operation a success in light of the current lull in rocket fire emanating from Gaza.

Bereaved families sitting on the sidelines of the hearing angrily confronted the prime minister.

In a highly emotional testimony, Dr. Leah Goldin—the mother of fallen Israeli soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose remains are held by Hamas—scolded the government. “My son has gone from being a heroic fighter to a debt of a body. Shame on you all,” she said.

When Member of Knesset Miki Zohar, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, responded to Goldin that her criticism was “not okay,” she called the lawmaker an “insolent man” and threw a cup of water at him.

The comptroller’s report accuses the government of dragging out the war for too long and alleges that Netanyahu did not properly update his security cabinet ministers, nor the Israeli population, regarding the threat posed by Hamas’s terror tunnels.

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  • Mark_NYC

    As an American who doesn’t have children serving in the IDF, it is very difficult inserting oneself into this painful situation. But I can’t help thinking of the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas who was then exchanged for over a thousand imprisoned Palestinians, including the individual who then went on to be a leader of the Hamas terrorist organization and who was recently assassinated (apparently) by Israeli agents. At some point, a semblance of logic and rationality has to prevail. Parents will be embittered when there children are killed during military actions, but elected leaders and generals cannot make stupid decisions that harm the many to save the few. Grant was called a “butcher” during the American Civil War for sending so many men to their deaths in battle (interestingly, Lee sacrificed more of his troops on a percentage basis but nobody called him a butcher), but if he had acted otherwise, the war would have dragged on and many more would have been killed or we wouldn’t even have a United States today. The Dr. who threw water at her critic may be embittered, but many other mothers in that country have lost children in their wars, and she doesn’t completely get a free pass to mouth off in any way she chooses because of her loss, painful and tragic though it is to her. Those of us who lost enormous numbers of relatives in WWII don’t get a free pass to mouth off any which way we wish because of our losses. If she wishes to protest that Hamas is holding onto the remains of her dead son- clearly as a bargaining chip- do it against Hamas and the Palestinians, not an easy target like the Israeli leadership who have learned that they cannot give terrorists more bargaining chips because families of dead or captured soldiers are camped out in front of the Prime Ministers residence or the Knesset.