The wall-to-wall political support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu enjoyed for Operation Protective Edge began to wither on Monday, as MKs on the Left criticized him.
Netanyahu received praise from the Left for his restraint ahead of the operation and for limiting casualties on both sides. But Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On called for an end to the operation, suggesting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas act as mediator.
“A cease-fire should be sought from a position of strength, out of an understanding that terrorism cannot be beaten by air attacks or a ground invasion,” Gal-On said. “As the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, a peaceful solution in Gaza must go through Abbas in Ramallah.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog told his Labor faction that he had spoken to multiple potential mediators who want to end the crisis with Hamas. He said Netanyahu needs to present the mediators a possible exit strategy.
“What is missing is a strategy for ending the operation using diplomatic means,” Herzog said. “I hope we can end it in the best way possible. The government must tell the people how it intends to do that.”
Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel added, “There comes a time when you have to start asking questions, like where do we go from here and what achievement are we looking for?” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said he considers the operation a success because Hamas had been weakened and had not accomplished any of the goals it set at the beginning of the operation.
“We have done this while trying to avoid harm to innocents,” Lapid said.
“It has been challenging, because Hamas is using innocents as human shields. The harm to innocents that there has been is the fault of Hamas.”