Netanyahu on offensive against Olmert

Says funds to help poor are ready, but Olmert is not authorizing them.

bibi 2005 budget 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
bibi 2005 budget 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud chairman and prime minister candidate Binyamin Netanyahu rebuffed attempts to criticize his tenure as finance minister in an interview with Army Radio Thursday morning, and took the opportunity to accuse Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of not authorizing his budget, which would help the country's poor, and not being strong enough against the Kassam rocket attacks. He also said that the parliamentary inquiry into the Amona evacuation should focus on the political echelon, and not on the police and IDF. He added that if he were elected prime minister he would remove the illegal outpost, but would do so while talking with the settlers and with the utmost sensitivity. "I didn't create poverty - it was already here. I brought the economy to a level in which it is one of the strongest in the world." Netanyahu suggested using funds "that are presently in the national treasury, that are there thanks to my budget plan, to be given to pensioners, daycare centers, single mothers, and the health basket." "Why isn't Mr. Olmert authorizing the budget? There is no reason to wait half a year," insisted an adamant Netanyahu. Regarding the Kassam attacks, Netanyahu said that it was the government's restrained response that allows the continuation of the attacks. He advised that a severe strike on Palestinian infrastructure in Gaza would convey a clear message to the Palestinians that Israel would not suffer missile attacks in its territory.