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Israel opposition criticises Netanyahu over Gaza truce

Benny Gantz, former Israeli military chief of staff Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv on 29 January 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Benny Gantz, former Israeli military chief of staff and presidential candidate in Tel Aviv on 29 January 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Leaders of Israel's opposition yesterday criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the truce deal with Gaza.

"The deal which was reached last night proves that Hamas dictates [its demands] to Netanyahu," head of the Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) alliance Benny Gantz said. "Deterrence cannot be achieved this way," he added, according to Arab 48.

During a tour of southern Israeli communities near the besieged Gaza Strip, Gantz said: "I am now here in the Gaza periphery and I can see Netanyahu is preparing Hamas' incendiary balloons, which once again cause fire. We have lost deterrence."

"We have to achieve deterrence through massive attacks. If there is no strong response, there is no deterrence. If there is no deterrence, there is no calm".

READ: Israel allows fuel to enter Gaza after 3-day hiatus

On Friday, Israel and Hamas reached a new agreement brokered by the UN and Egypt that renewed the truce between the two parties in return for Israel's resumption of fuel supplies to Gaza's power plant and the expansion of the fishing zone.

Another senior leader of Kahol Lavan, Gabi Ashkenazi, echoed Gantz's sentiment, saying: "This is not a truce. Netanyahu gave up on the residents of the Gaza periphery […] Go there and see what is are they doing. They are waiting for answers."

Other opposition figures weighed in on the debate, with one eye on their political ambitions ahead of Israel's general election in September. Amir Peretz, who is hoping to lead the Israeli Labor Party after primaries are held next week, said: "A long-term solution is needed, not truce deals which are not worth the paper they were written on. Hamas plays with Netanyahu."

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak – who this week announced he would launch a new party to contest the September election – wrote on Twitter: "This is submission to Hamas […] After hundreds of fires, we have a new problematic deal which could last for a couple of days."

READ: Bennett urges Israel to kill Palestinians launching incendiary balloons

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