Minister Benny Gantz
Minister Benny GantzCourtesy

Minister Benny Gantz made a statement to the press Saturday evening in Kfar Maccabiah.

"The unity brought great achievements, we gave our soldiers on the front a sense of partnership in our fate, but recently something went wrong. Vital decisions were not made. Leadership actions required to ensure victory were not taken," he said.

"A small minority took control of the ship that is Israel and is sailing it towards the rocks. I am here today to tell the truth. And the truth is hard: while Israeli soldiers exhibit supreme bravery on the front - some of the people who sent them to battle act in cowardice and irresponsibility."

"While in the dark tunnels of Gaza the kidnapped men and women are undergoing hellish torment – there are those who engage in vanities. While the people of Israel excel beyond themselves – some politicians think of themselves. Personal and political considerations began to penetrate the Holy of Holies of Israel's security."

Gantz gave Netanyahu until June 8 to formulate a strategic plan for war: ''Bring our hostages home, topple the Hamas regime, strip the Gaza Strip, and ensure Israeli security control. Alongside maintaining Israeli security control, establish an American-European-Arab-Palestinian administration to civilly manage the Strip and lay the foundation for a future alternative to Hamas and Abbas, return the residents of the north to their homes by September 1, and rehabilitate the Western Negev, promote normalization with Saudi Arabia as part of an overall move that will create an alliance with the free world and the Arab world against Iran and adopt a service plan that will lead to all Israelis serving the state and contributing to the supreme national effort.''

"In any case, we will pursue Hamas and all our enemies, everywhere, and at any time. Security will remain only in our hands. We will not allow any entity to impose a Palestinian state but we will provide a horizon of hope."

Gantz personally addressed Netanyahu, saying, "I have known you for many years as an Israeli leader and patriot: you know well what needs to be done. The Netanyahu of a decade ago would have done the right thing. Are you capable of doing the right action and the patriotic act also today? The people of Israel are watching you. You must choose between Zionism and cynicism, between unity and division, between responsibility and neglect – and between victory and disaster.''

''If you prefer the national over the personal and choose to walk in the paths of Herzl, Ben-Gurion, Begin, and Rabin - you will find in us partners for the struggle. But if you choose to walk in the paths of zealots and lead the whole nation into the abyss – we will have to resign from the government. We will appeal to the people and establish a government that will have the trust of the people. We will form a government based on broad unity, which will bring about real correction and victory," he said.