Gantz: Defense begins with deterrence

Blue and White party tours, holds weekly meeting in Ashkelon, vows to protect residents better than Netanyahu.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gantz in Ashkelon
Gantz in Ashkelon
Avishai Finkelstein

Members of the Blue and White party on Thursday toured Ashkelon and held their weekly faction meeting in the southern city.

The delegation began the day with a meeting with the workers of the Ashkelon industrial zone, which provides employment for thousands of residents of the city. The MKs toured the multi-lingual factory and heard from the workers that in the event of an emergency, many of them had no protected place to stay because of the lack of financial support from the state for the cost of protection.

From there, the faction members continued to tour the Shimshon neighborhood in southern Ashkelon, which is exposed to rocket fire during each round of fighting, and many parts of it are not protected at all. In conversations with the residents, the MKs heard about the constant fear of living in the neighborhood without shelter.

Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz said at the start of the tour: "We have arrived here because it is important to be here and everywhere in the country. There are citizens here who expect to be listened to, who want to be seen. Residents here have 20-25 seconds to run into a protected space, so they need to know that they have the protection they deserve."

Gantz stated that "defense begins with deterrence. Every kite which flies in our direction must be met by a missile that has Hamas' exact address. But in the State of Israel today there are only crises that must be dealt with. They are dealing with the Sde Dov crisis, dealing with the crisis of the deficit, dealing with the crisis of the Ethiopian community, all crises. But there is only one crisis here, and it is the leadership crisis of Binyamin Netanyahu. That is what we are going to change and replace with a leadership with a heart that will be there to work on behalf of the public."

MK Yair Lapid said during the visit: "Yesterday something unprecedented happened, and heads of local authorities in the south, here, in the Gaza vicinity, refused to come to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the Gaza Division."

"They refused for two reasons - the first reason was that they were fed up. They were fed up with neglect, they had enough of rockets and mortar shells and fires. The second reason is that they know that Netanyahu will not do anything because he is not doing anything," he added.

According to Lapid, Netanyahu "has stopped functioning. He has stopped working for the citizens of Israel. Just as he does not deal with the problems of the Ethiopians, just as he does not deal with the protection of Ashkelon."

"If we are elected, we will go to sleep after everyone else does, and we will work and deal with the real problems of real people who have real needs. That is why we came to Ashkelon and that is why we will go everywhere in Israel so that people know that there is someone here to deal with their problems." Lapid pledged.