Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Friday made clear in an interview with the Ofira & Berkovic program on Channel 12 that he does not trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will not go into a government with him.
Commenting on a meeting he held on Thursday night with Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett, Gantz said, “It was a good and short meeting, we talked about the possibilities that exist. Bennett is on a very significant personal and political path, he has to decide with himself whether he is going to a government of change that will do something new and good for the State of Israel.”
Asked whether he believes Bennett, he replied, “I believe him. I remind everyone that Netanyahu is Netanyahu, I was the last one to feel it.”
Gantz then reiterated that he would not form a new government with Netanyahu.
“I will not unite with Bibi, that story is over. I say this painfully, unfortunately it is impossible to trust any agreement with Bibi. What is happening in Israel in terms of interior affairs and what happened in the streets is a result of years of neglect.”
He was then asked whether he would refuse an offer by Netanyahu to be first as Prime Minister in a rotation agreement.
“I do not believe the man. I can no longer believe him. If you ask me why I cannot explain it, I just know that I cannot believe him. I think elections are not a good thing for the country, so I will do everything for a government of change to be formed,” Gantz replied.
On the disappointment among the public at the failure of Israel to bring back its missing soldiers and civilians as part of the ceasefire that ended Operation Guardian of the Walls, Gantz said, “It was not right to tie the ceasefire with the discourse on the return of the boys. I think it is a very important issue, but it is not possible to tie it to the ceasefire. It would have prolonged the operation. Bringing back the boys is a national task, it has become my personal task to work for them to return.”
“I think this campaign, with its very great achievements, allows us an extraordinary strategic opportunity to return more forcefully to this effort to bring back the boys,” added Gantz, though he would not provide a timeline on when that could happen.
“I do not know when, I know what will happen. We are human beings, we said we were willing to help with humanitarian aid in Gaza, but I said that everything related to repair, rehabilitation and development in Gaza depends on bringing the boys home. It is very important nationally and personally. I will make every effort with my colleagues to bring back the boys.”
Finally, Gantz commented on the possibility of Israel entering another round of fighting in Gaza soon.
“It could happen. My guiding principle is that the reality of the past will not be the reality of the future, and if Hamas carries out drills along our borders, fires rockets or plays games; whether in Sderot, Jerusalem or Tel Aviv – I will not let this happen. It’s time for us to get used to the fact that Israel will respond whenever it decides to respond. Hamas can try to carry out more attacks, our response will be very sharp,” he stressed.
Source: Arutz Sheva