MK Shaul Mofaz
MK Shaul MofazAlex Rogovskoi

Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz on Monday criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over his conduct during this past summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Speaking at the Kinneret College, Mofaz said that Netanyahu caved to Hamas and did not make any achievements during the 51-day operation.

"I'm a centrist with regards to peace and a political settlement [with the Palestinian Authority], and a rightist when it comes to security," Mofaz, who served in the past as IDF Chief of Staff and later as Minister of Defense, told his audience.

He added that during the operation he refrained from criticizing the Cabinet because of the importance of supporting the government while it is fighting an enemy. Now, however, Mofaz said he is sharply criticizing the Prime Minister's conduct during the operation, saying that the problem was not the IDF, but the political leadership.

"I do not remember a Prime Minister who caved like this to terrorism, after 51 days of war with a number of deaths and with no achievements made," Mofaz said, adding that last weekend’s rocket attack on southern Israel is “a clear sign that we are headed towards another round of fighting.”

Mofaz also hinted at other threats in the Middle East, and, turning to Netanyahu, said, "If now you are talking big and coming out as weak against Hamas, what will you do when it's a terrorist organization more powerful than Hamas? How will you face it? I’m losing sleep over this.”

The Kadima chairman said he would offer his experiences in the field of security to any centrist party, amid speculations that he would join the joint Labor-Hatnua list that was recently announced and would be guaranteed a spot in the Labor party’s Knesset list.

"All Israelis are in favor of an agreement [with the Palestinian Authority], they are just being frightened instead of being told that we are strong, and that we can proceed with an agreement,” said Mofaz.

“We must take fate into our own hands even in the diplomatic sphere because time is not on our side. The more we put it off, the heavier will be the prices we’ll pay in the future,” he added.

"Our social and economic are related to a [peace agreement]," Mofaz said. "Our economy will be much better, we will grown and employment will increase. I support this and believe that the citizens of Israel, most of them, want it as well.”

Mofaz remarked on the socio-economic situation, after the Alternative Poverty Report published Monday found that one in three children in Israel live below the poverty line.

"I experienced what it is like when you open an empty refrigerator. It is a disgrace. I am prepared to explain to you what is the issue of poverty, when children go to bed hungry at night, because I was there," Mofaz said, proceeding to attack Netanyahu on this issue.

"Now the Prime Minister remembered to raise the minimum wage? You have been Prime Minister for seven years, did someone prevent you from raising the minimum wage? All of a sudden now, on the eve of an election, he remembers to do it. It is a disgrace,” charged Mofaz.