Protective Edge cabinet meeting transcripts partially revealed

'Response to murder of 3 youths has been weak, disgraceful' said Bennett ahead of 2014 Gaza war, slamming Yaalon over restrained response.

Arutz Sheva,

IDF in Protective Edge campaign
IDF in Protective Edge campaign
Flash 90

On the 30th of June 2014 the bodies of three boys abducted from the Etzion Bloc region were discovered after an 18-day search. The same night the cabinet met in a tense atmosphere. The "Protective Edge" campaign had not yet been decided but a warlike atmosphere permeated the cabinet. Yediot Aharonot revealed Tuesday partial transcripts from cabinet meetings during the night after the discovery of the bodies and from the campaign in Gaza.

"The response to the attack up until now has been weak and disgraceful," said Minister Naftali Bennett. "In Gaza there are tens of tunnels ready for kidnappings, they are not there to rust," this a sarcastic reference to Moshe Yaalon's statement before the Second Lebanon war that the Hezbollah's arsenal of rockets would rust in their storehouses. "We must initiate action at the point of contact."

Bennett's suggestion was met with strong opposition by the members of the cabinet. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that "the tunnels are a real threat to the State of Israel and could change the balance between us and them." Netanyahu asked Defense Minister Yaalon to prepare a plan to take control of the tunnels.

"There is a plan," said Yaalon.

"I don't know it," said Netanyahu.

Yaalon presented a more cautious approach than Bennett.

"Hamas has no intention of initiating action in the tunnels," said Yaalon. "We must beware of miscalculations."

Bennett: "In the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, did they feature?"

Yaalon: No

Netanyahu emphasized that at this point he intended to conduct a restrained policy. "The goal at present is containment."

Bennett insisted on a more active approach. "Do you think that if we don't do anything they will continue containment?"

Yaalon: Yes.

Minister Gilad Erdan challenged the defense minister regarding the level of preparation for the tunnel threat.

"You prepared a plan for the conquest of Gaza but not for the conquest of the tunnels."

"We presented it," answered Yaalon.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Ganz also counseled restraint: "Hamas does not want to act. They already reported on their radio 'we made a mistake regarding this kidnapping.'"




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