Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed calls to create an official state committee to investigate the government's conduct in dealing with the threat of terror tunnels, saying that the claim that there were no discussions of the matter before operation Protective Edge is completely inaccurate. He also said that no such committee will be formed.
According to the Prime Minister, a survey of the minutes of the Cabinet meetings taking place in the year and a half leading up to the operation turned up 8 instances of discussions concerning the tunnels, with one even yielding a directive to the IDF to act against them. One of the relevant discussions took place a mere two weeks before the fighting in Gaza began.
Speaking to military correspondents today (Monday), Netanyahu stated that he had personally directed the IDF to solve the tunnel problem in several visits to command posts in the south.
Prime Minister Netanyahu also addressed developments in the Gaza Strip, explaining that "though we can't completely prevent Hamas from gathering its strength, if there will be a need for another round of fighting the other side will pay a very high price."
The Prime Minister then turned to the matter of Israeli relations with the United States. "Our relationship with the Americans are based in shared principles and the widespread support Israel enjoys among the American public, as support for us is always rising, while there is no such rise in support for the Palestinians."
The Prime Minister estimated that an agreement on American security aid will be reached in the coming few days.
As for the Iranian nuclear threat, Netanyahu said that "the nuclear capability hasn't disappeared. Israel will prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon.
Next came the Turkey agreement. "We acted wisely when we signed that agreement. It's important for Israel and we hope it will serve as a basis for further dialogue and cooperation. The whole process was conducted with the full cooperation of all parties involved, including the US, Russia, Greece and Cyprus."
Finally, the Prime Minister addressed the trial of Elor Azaria, the soldier who shot dead a wounded terrorist in Hevron. Netanyahu had called the soldier's father after the incident, and stands by his decision to do so. "I told the father to trust the IDF, because I believe in the soldiers, the officers, the military judiciary system and the Chief of Staff. The story is being clarified in the trial and maybe we'll find out some new things.
"I stand by every word I told the father," Netanyahu concluded.