MK Nissim Vaturi, Likud
MK Nissim Vaturi, LikudArutz Sheva

In an interview with Kol Berama Radio on Tuesday morning, Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Nissim Vaturi (Likud) attacked the anti-government protesters and defined them as "an arm of Hamas."

"Hamas has several arms – the militant arm of the damned terrorists who attacked and killed children, and there is the arm of the demonstrations that supports and helps Hamas," Vaturi claimed.

"After all, who would benefit from this pressure in a more violent and brutal way than Hamas? There are people who care about the country – and it is not those who are shouting at the Kaplan protests. We know that they don't care about anything, because who demonstrates in such a way during a war?" Vettori contemplated.

Vaturi later published a tweet on the X network, claiming that his statements were taken out of context. "The demonstrations harm our national strength, especially during wartime. We found out that the terrorists admitted during their interrogations that the demonstrations encouraged them to attack Israel. The horrific actions of the Nazi Hamas must not be compared to any protest or actions of one political party or another. My words were taken out of context.

His statement was met with criticism also from within his own party. Minister Miki Zohar said that, "Statements like this deepen the great rift in our nation and may bring an even greater disaster upon us than October 7. The enemies of Israel are watching us from the sidelines and rubbing their hands in glee. Without unity between us, we have no future in this country.”

Minister Yoav Kish added: "There is nothing about the people of Israel that can be compared to the heinous murderers of Hamas. Hamas is our enemy, murderers without a human image. The people of Israel have different opinions. There may be debate and different thinking, but especially these days, we must remember that we are brothers. I spoke with MK Vaturi, who told me that the statement that was allegedly said by him, was not said and he issued a clarification."

MK Dan Illouz attacked: "Between the hallucinatory statements made yesterday by the opposition chairman about betraying the combat soldiers and the IDF, and undermining the security of the state, and the serious statements, also in the coalition, on the other side as an arm of Hamas, there are people who want victory, want unity , and remember that right now the supporters of the government and its opponents are fighting side by side against the real enemy of the State of Israel in several directions. Wake up: we are in a war of survival and we can win only if we stand together."

Chairman of the National Unity party, Benny Gantz, said that Netanyahu should take action against Vaturi as his statement about the protesters is repulsive, but also his actual action. I call on the Prime Minister to remove him from his position, and to replace him with an official personality, who will respect the State of Israel and its house of representatives. Failure to remove him from his position, is as if you accept his statement."

The reserve duty headquarters filed a police complaint against Vaturi for incitement. "The protesters in Jerusalem and across the country are patriotic citizens who, between serving their time in military duty, are struggling to get our beloved country back on track. The blood of the protesters is on the hands of Vaturi and other instigators."

The leadership of the Kaplan Force protest group said in response: "Vaturi is not just a fool – but a dangerous ringleader, who is tearing the people apart under Netanyahu's guidance."

This is not the first time that the Knesset member has harshly attacked those protesting against the government, whom he defined a few months ago as "worse than Iran."