Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reprimanded several ministers at a cabinet meeting held in the Kirya in Tel Aviv Thursday, according to Walla! News, over criticism leveled at his handling of Operation Protective Edge.
"Criticism from home during a war is intolerable," Netanyahu reportedly said.
The comment was allegedly directed toward Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud), Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beytenu), and Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu).
Netanyahu later directly shared his dismay at the criticism in comments to reporters, noting that "a united leadership is important to the Jewish people."
"We still have a minority among us who choose these moments to radicalize their views," he continued. "Be aware of what you say and watch what you're doing. The Cabinet ministers are the ones who need to serve as a model for the public as a whole; during this, the people have expected us all to rally behind the end goal."
"We are stronger the more united we are," he added.
Despite the waves of criticism, public support for Netanyahu has only skyrocketed since the war began, a recent poll revealed. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a very high approval rating, according to the survey: 65% are "very satisfied" with Netanyahu's handling of the operation, 20% are "satisfied" with his leadership and only 10% are "not satisfied" with the Prime Minister.
Criticism - and retaliation
Shalom made a series of comments to Channel 2 earlier this week, implying that Netanyahu "invited" international pressure to accept a cease-fire from Hamas in order to have a "good excuse" to end the conflict, which is now in its twenty-fourth day.
Shamir, meanwhile, has called the operation a "missed opportunity".
"I think we should have given more aggressive and clearer objectives and shortened the time frame,” he added. “We followed the other side, instead of being creative. We always responded to Hamas, never threw the enemy off balance with some surprising move.”
Landau, for his part, said Tuesday that “the government must change the goal of the operation and make broader decisions," noting that the conflict is not confined to the geographical and religious struggles between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, but against Islamism as a whole.
The warning surfaces just weeks after Netanyahu publicly sacked Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud), in a move the Prime Minister announced was due to "statements expressing a lack of faith in the government and in its prime minister in particular."