Netanyahu admits he can't fire Bennett, Liberman due to 'Israel's system of gov't'

Netanyahu told reporters Wednesday that due to "Israel's system of government," ministers who criticize his management of the government would face little recourse.

August 25, 2016 00:10
1 minute read.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennet

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennet. (photo credit: SASSON TIRAM,REUTERS)


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Prime Minister Benjaminm Netanyahu on Wednesday said it would be "very difficult to fire" coalition partners due to "Israel's system of government" after addressing repeated criticisms from two top ministers concerning his handling of 2014's Operation Protective Edge, according to Channel 2.

Netanyahu made the remarks at a press conference on Wednesday in response to repeated attacks over the last two years leveled by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, key allies in the ruling coalition, saying that their dismissal would lead to a collapse in the current government.

"With a system of government like ours, the government could fall," Netanyahu told members of the press, adding "This is not a presidential system, I can't fire them."

Both Bennett and Liberman have routinely slammed the prime minister for his alleged mismanagement of 2014's summer battle with Hamas, specifically for not holding in-depth discussions and preparing adequately for attack tunnels that emerged as a deadly threat during the war.

To be sure, Bennett told reporters late last month Israel had sent its soldiers into the Gaza Strip two years ago to destroy the tunnels, but “mistakes were made and the operation lasted longer than necessary."

"We don’t need 51 days to beat Hamas,” he added.

Liberman for his part has repeatedly urged the prime minister to take a stronger posture against the Gaza based terror organization, urging Netanyahu to "“go all the way” and “eradicate the Hamas regime.”

“After Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Defense, we can’t have a situation where we don’t finish the job because that will only lead to a countdown before the next operation,” Liberman, serving as foreign minister at the time, told Channel 2 during the height of the conflict in July 2014.

Netanyahu had called the press conference shortly after the IDF issued its fifth report on war crimes allegations related to the killing of around 2,100 Palestinians (with an ongoing debate about how many were civilians) during the 2014 Gaza war.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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