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Israeli columnist: Netanyahu is losing his grip on Gaza

Yossi Verter, a columnist at the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, said that US' criticism of Israel and the deterioration of relations with the US government indicate Israel's loss of control of the events in Gaza.

"Rather than avoiding a unanimous vote against Kerry's initiative," Verter wrote, "and settling disagreements with calm and confidentiality through diplomatic channels, Netanyahu chose to open a front against the Americans while the state is overwhelmed with depression amid the rising death toll and a vague feeling that the Israeli government has no idea where to move. Should we advance into Gaza, or move backwards? And with which conditions? And how?"

Verter went on to say that Netanyahu is eager to stop the fighting in the south, but "political conditions are not yet ripe". On the other hand, he faces public criticisms from ministers in his party and cabinet regarding his way of managing the situation. Local council chiefs in the southern settlements continue to urge Netanyahu to press ahead with his invasion of Gaza, Verter said, as quoted by Arab48 website.

The Israeli author mentioned that Netanyahu has rebuked a number of ministers in his cabinet, in a precedent which reflects the pressures he is being subjected to, and his "loss of control over the boys".

He added that the world, especially the US, and even Australia, is starting to become weary about the situation, and the international community feels that Israel "has run out of all stakes in Gaza".

He pointed to the fact that the political battle between Netanyahu and his partner and Security Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman, the heads of the Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu parties, "has become an open and intense confrontation".

Verter added that Netanyahu is concerned that an abrupt end to the war in a manner which could be viewed by the Israeli public as weakness or concession would cost him his position, since public opinion polls suggest that the Israeli public supports the continuation of the war.

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