A political storm erupted after the words of Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a close associate of the prime minister, on Galei Tzahal.
"According to Tzachi Hanegbi," said chairman of the Zionist Union Avi Gabbay, "residents in Tel Aviv must not be shot at. However, residents in the south are allowed to be. A government that has no value that distinguishes the blood of the Israeli citizens, must go home."
Knesset Member Haim Yelin of the Yesh Atid Party, a resident of the Gaza perimeter and former head of the Eshkol Regional Council, responded, "Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said what we in the south have understood the past eight months. The Netanyahu government isn't interested in the residents of the Gaza Belt and has no problem with us living in bomb shelters. We bore them. You should be ashamed. You don’t deserve to be ministers and representatives of a democratic government."
"If at least 470 rockets exploded in less than 24 hours, close to your homes as you are with your children, you wouldn’t say those things. After many years in politics and the cabinet, the time has come for you to put the keys down and go defend the Tel Aviv government. All I've heard from the cabinet these last few days have been what they haven't done to protect the citizens on the Gazan Belt and the south. Another proof that the Netanyahu government has finished it's leadership and must go home."
Knesset member Meir Cohen, also of the Yesh Atid Party and a resident of Dimona, claimed that Minister Hanegbi "reinforced, this morning, what we as residents of the south understood long ago. To me, as a resident of the south, we are worthless to the prime minister."
Cohen added, "This is not the first time that a senior official has memorized a memo from the PM's desk. After all the incitement and divisiveness , the prime minister has chosen to differentiate between the blood of those in Tel Aviv and the blood of those living in the south. For what? To justify his capitulation to Hamas."
MK Itzik Shmuli, of the Zionist Union party, joined in the attacks. "The residents of the south and the north both know that in the Likud Government's eyes, they are worth a lot less. To them, Hamas is worth attacking only if Tel Aviv is attacked. Scandalous!"