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Netanyahu fires deputy defence minister over criticism of Gaza campaign

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday fired Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon over his criticism of the Israeli government's handling of the war on Gaza and his accusations that the cabinet is taking "weak actions" against Hamas in Gaza.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 2, Danon criticised Netanyahu and his cabinet, saying he was surprised by the news of his dismissal. He said he first heard "rumours" of his dismissal via the media early in the morning. By evening, the prime minister said to him simply, "You're fired," Danon said during the interview, adding, ""I won't accept the weak, leftist spirit of the prime minister."

"While Israel is in the midst of a military operation against terrorist organizations and working determinedly to maintain the security of Israeli citizens, the deputy defence minister cannot sharply attack the leaders of the state," Netanyahu said. "His harsh statements, which Hamas used against Israel, prove his irresponsibility."

The decision said that "Danon's dismissal comes over his statements which constitute distrust in the government and its head and given that the deputy secretary of defence does not assume responsibility for his remarks, the prime minister has decided to dismiss him from his duty."

Danon demanded Israel destroy Hamas, cut off electricity from the Gaza Strip and dismiss Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who opposes a ground invasion.

Earlier he said that Israel did not do what must be done and should do more by entering into a ground assault in Gaza so that Hamas could suffer "the impact of Israel's arms".


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