MK Yogev: 'They want to topple Netanyahu at any price'

Acting chairman fears Protective Edge report used against Netanyahu who functioned well in op. "I was also in favor of limited operation".

Benny Tucker ,

Moti Yogev
Moti Yogev
Arutz Sheva

Acting Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK and reserve Col. Moti Yogev said in anticipation of the auditor's report on Operation Protective Edge that he has a bad feeling that political elements are trying to take advantage of the report against the prime minister.

"I did not read the classified report, which was seen by only two in the Knesset who are allowed to read it, and I can not relate to quotes from the newspapers, but according to what happened at the Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee during that winter before Protective Edge, I can say that despite the criticism that I heard since the disengagement that no measures have been developed to deal with the tunnel threat - from January 2014 the Prime Minister dealt with this threat very seriously. Even during the operation we met with the Prime Minister frequently and my impression is that Protective Edge was executed properly. I have a feeling that there is a very wide swath of certain people, some openly, some behind the scenes, lying in wait for the prime minister and seeking to bring him down."

Yogev thinks that Operation Protective Edge was meant to be a limited operation, "True, the operation took longer because the tunnel threat was exposed to be greater than we expected, there were dead and missing and that is the nature of war, but my feeling is that the war was run responsibly."

He said Minister Naftali Bennet's criticism and cabinet disagreements are legitimate, "according to quotes Minister Naftali Bennett pushed that we must go into Gaza in a limited operation to destroy the tunnels up to a range of 2 kilometers, there were those who demanded to eliminate Hamas entirely. At that stage I was against this idea for reasons I will not not detail here. I was in favor of a limited operation when the goals were tunnels, and deterring and crushing Hamas. I understood even then from Naftali, and I think he was right in his claim, that it would be impossible to finish this battle without confronting and dealing with the tunnel threat and so it was. It's legitimate to have differences of opinion in the cabinet until in the end decisions are taken, and it could be that Naftali was right in his claim, I do not know because I was not there and did not hear the exchange between Naftali, the Defense Minister, and the Prime Minister. But the way things were run and presented to us in real time in the Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee, everything was well-arranged with goals and all eventualities."

MK Yogev added that he thought it would have been better to wait a few days until commencing with the operation, "even after the decision I thought we needed to give the forces four days. Today I may say that the years 2013 - 2014 were lean years for training because Yesh Atid and Yair Lapid as finance minister and Ofer Shelah demanded to cut the defense budget so there was no training and restocking, and today the situation is better. And so I was against entering an inclusive war for many reasons, among them because of the need to restore the military to training mode and war mode and not to introduce them immediately into combat as in the second Lebanon war, and this is an important lesson. So I wanted a delay to ready the forces to arrive more prepared and more victorious."