Tal Russo
Tal RussoTomer Neuberg/Flash90

The Yediot Ahronot newspaper issued an apology Monday morning for falsely quoting Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, who is second on the Labor party Knesset list, attacking the residents of the Gaza periphery.

"Following an interview published in our weekly edition with Major General (res.) Tal Russo, another examination of the transcript of the interview shows that Russo did not say what was attributed to him regarding the residents of the Gaza perimeter. We apologize for the mistake," the newspaper stated in its correction.

Russo was quoted as saying: "I think it was true that the residents of the Gaza vicinity would show a little more resilience, I was surprised by the kind of whining around kite terrorism."

He was also quoted as calling the residents of the Gaza envelope "crybabies."

His words aroused a storm on the right and the left. Gadi Yarkoni, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, said: "These words are detached from reality and outrageous. The residents of the Gaza periphery have been and are continuing to pay the price for the limited response of security officials to incidents that have blown up into the major offensive we see today in the form of arson balloons and firebombs. I would have expected more understanding and humility from Tal Russo towards the residents of the Gaza periphery."

MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) accused Russo of "joining the party of withdrawals" and attempting "to consolidate his political-security status by disconnecting from reality."

"If we had to disconnect from Gush Katif and absorb missiles and rockets, assault tunnels, constant threats and a difficult humanitarian situation for the residents of the Gaza Strip, this is because of the views that are detached from the reality of Russo and his new friends on the left," Yogev said.