PM Netanyahu refrained from holding a vote, fearing ceasefire would not be approved
Israel’s agreement to a ceasefire with Hamas generated angry reactions Tuesday from members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, with opponents claiming the deal will enable Hamas to recoup and re-arm so that it can attack Israel anew.
Netanyahu, fearing he would not get the support of his Security Cabinet for the ceasefire agreement, refrained from bringing it to a vote. The prime minister argued that the cabinet had already authorized him and his defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, to make decisions regarding an extension of a previous ceasefire agreement and he was thus not bound to seek cabinet approval this time.
Citing the previous green light, Netanyahu also rejected a demand by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, to bring the deal to a vote, the Walla web site reported.
Opponents to the new deal include Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Israel Beiteinu party and an outspoken critics of Netanyahu’s policy on the war in Gaza, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, generally a staunch supporter of the prime minister’s.
Netanyahu’s decision to preclude a vote enabled the opponents to let off steam in public pronouncements, without accepting responsibility for the consequences of the governmental decision.
Anonymous sources in Lieberman’s party told Walla that “one need only look at previous ceasefires in order to know how this one will turn out. What’s needed is a fundamental solution for the residents of the south, not one that will leave them hostages of a terror organization.”
The opposition was also sharply critical of the decision. “The ceasefire and its terms prove that Netanyahu launched a war without having any specific goals and ended up costing the lives of innocent Israelis and Palestinians,” Knesset member Zehava Gal-On, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, told Israeli media. She called for Netanyahu’s resignation, said he had made “every possible” mistake in recent months.
Netanyahu’s popularity with the electorate is also plummeting.
According to a survey conducted on behalf of Israel’s Channel 2, only 38 percent of respondents are satisfied with Netanyahu – compared to 55 percent last week and 82 percent on July 23, at the outset of Operation Protective Edge.