Netanyahu, Joint List MK Lock Horns Over IDF Operations in Gaza
JNS.org – Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi was escorted out of the Knesset plenum on Wednesday after clashing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a parliamentary session discussing the targeted killing of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata the day before.
Since the targeted strike on Abu al-Ata terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip have launched hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities and communities, while Israel has carried out multiple retaliatory airstrikes in the Hamas-ruled enclave. Medical officials in Gaza have reported at least 30 casualties due to the Israeli strikes, the majority of which were members of terror groups.
Netanyahu took the podium for an impromptu address during the session, stressing that the strike on Abu al-Ata had been unanimously approved by the Security Cabinet and taking Joint List MKs to task for accusing him of war crimes in connection with the ongoing military operation in Gaza.
“Some MKs are doing the unthinkable and have called Israeli soldiers and the Israeli government war criminals,” said Netanyahu.
“They sanctify the terrorists’ war crimes! This is a great injustice against IDF soldiers and commanders, who spare no effort to minimize civilian casualties. [Gaza] terrorists hide among civilians—that is a war crime. Nothing said in this hall will change that fact,” he added.
Joint List MK Tibi then approached the podium and called out at Netanyahu: “You’re a liar! This campaign means to save you [from legal troubles]!”
After refusing to heed Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s calls to order, Tibi was removed from the plenum hall by Knesset ushers. Other Joint List members left the hall voluntarily.
Netanyahu went on to say that “terrorists hide among civilians precisely because they know we’ll spare no effort to protect civilians from harm,” emphasizing that the government and military often abort missions due to the potential risk to innocent lives.
“Our home-front defense tactics are studied the world over,” said Netanyahu.
Also on Wednesday, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement on Abu al-Ata’s assassination, calling it a “vital action” and a “clear message” to Israel’s enemies.
“The IDF took vital action for the security of Israel. This [strike] should send a clear message to all of our enemies: Whoever plans to harm us during the day cannot be sure that he will make it through the night.”