MK Yuval Steinitz, a Netanyahu ally, admitted his party chairman's statements were "unfortunate," but insisted that they did not cause any real damage.
Speaking during a live interview on Channel 1 news, Netanyahu, referring to the alleged IAF operation in Syria, said that he was "part of the matter from the beginning" and that he knew to separate matters of national security from politics. Asked if he was concerned about Olmert's rise in the polls in the wake of the incident, Netanyahu said: "When we are dealing with matters of national security, I know how to give my support."
"This attempt to stir up a storm in a tea cup, to say that [the statement] was not detrimental to security while trying to inflict damage on Netanyahu himself, is inappropriate," he told Army Radio.
"During the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) especially, I would expect that we would try not to hurt one another, and that we would not inflate a statement that was interpreted in an unfortunate manner and probably should have been phrased differently," Steinitz added.