National Unity Party chairman Minister Benny Gantz demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retract his remarks overnight in which he said that all leaders of Israel's security and intelligence agencies had assured the political echelon that Hamas was "deterred" and had no interest in starting a war with Israel.
"This morning in particular, I want to give my backing to and strengthen all the security forces and IDF soldiers - including the Chief of Staff, the head of the IDF and the head of the Shin Bet," Gantz wrote. "When we are at war, our leaders need to show responsibility, decide to do the right things and strengthen the forces in such a way that they can realize what we demand of them. Any other action or statement harms the people's ability to endure and its strength."
He also wrote: "The prime minister must retract his statement last night and stop speaking about the issue."
"I said yesterday that a heavy burden rests on the shoulders of the heads of the security arms for what was and will be. This morning, I would like to emphasize - - we are all with you and behind you, the entire Israeli society carries the burden with you. Do not look up or back - continue your mission. I love you, appreciate you, and support you."
Last night, Prime Minister Netanyahu's office released a statement saying that "contrary to the false claims: under no circumstances and at no stage was Prime Minister Netanyahu warned of intentions to wage war on the part of Hamas."
"On the contrary, all the security forces, including the head of the IDF and the head of the Shin Bet, estimated that Hamas was deterred and wanted the improve the situation in Gaza. This is the assessment that was presented time and time again to the prime minister and the cabinet by all the security forces and the intelligence community, including up to the outbreak of the war," the statement said.