Likud politicians were quick to blast former prime minister Ehud Olmert after he accused the government of strengthening Hamas by abstaining from negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas.
Minister Gilad Erdan said that Olmert "once again proved that there is no limit to chutzpah" and is trying to rewrite history.
"Olmert is the one who enabled Hamas to participate in elections," Erdan said. "He was among those who initiated the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza that enabled Hamas to take over and stopped Operation Cast Lead before the Hamas government was toppled. It is ridiculous that he now the one hurling accusations and trusting the public to have a short memory."
Minister Gideon Saar called Olmert's attack "an especially serious matter" and "scandalous."
"Mister Olmert did not have even one word of criticism toward the Palestinian Authority, which for close to four years is purposely avoiding negotiations with the elected government of Israel and placing precondition after precondition before the talks, and saves his blame for the elected Israeli government," Saar said.
MK Danny Danon said: "If Olmert wants to preserve Israel's security, he should stay outside the political system and not cause any more damage. The decision to attack the prime minister in whose term in office Israel has enjoyed more security than in previous decades betrays desperation to receive headlines."