Right-ring Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman has criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the lack of a "strategic goal" in the country's military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party told Maariv newspaper that the strikes only serve the prime minister's own interests.
Netanyahu's actions, the former minister wrote, could result in the destruction of the "Third Temple" and threaten Israel's very existence without a strategic goal or clear goals. He added that Israel needs to determine its end game in the Gaza Strip and how it will achieve its desired outcomes. The "only objective" behind the air strikes on Gaza is to "whitewash" Netanyahu's image, he claimed.
The Israeli attack on Gaza has been relentless for the past eight days. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, the death toll for the past week in Gaza has risen to 198, including 58 children and 34 women. A further 1,230 people have been wounded.
Ten people, including two children, have been killed in Israel as a result of rocket attacks fired from Gaza following tensions in East Jerusalem against the backdrop of Israel's forced displacement of Palestinian families from their homes to house Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of the occupied city.