West Bank attack ignites an election debate in Israel

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Israeli Minister of Culture (Likud) Miri Regev on Sunday accused Israel of blaming a “blue-white” coalition, led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, for launching more attacks against Israelis.

This came as part of Regev’s comment on a Palestinian shooting in the occupied West Bank on Sunday morning, which killed one soldier and wounded two settlers, one of them critically ill.

“Gantz and Lebed are seeking an agreement (before the April 9 parliamentary elections) with Ahmed Tibi (head of the Arab Movement for Change),” Regev told reporters.

“Tibi refuses to condemn the Palestinian attacks against the Israelis, and the Gantz partnership with him will lead to more attacks,” she said.

Opinion polls show fierce competition between the “blue-white” coalition and Netanyahu to form the next government.

The “blue-white” leaders, Gantz, Lapid, Moshe Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi, hastened to publish a joint statement in which they attacked Regev.

They wrote on Twitter: “In the history of Israel, no minister has used the killing of Israelis in Palestinian attacks for election propaganda even before the burial of the dead, to respect the victims, we will not respond any more than this now.”

In an additional comment, Ashkenazi said: “I heard the words of the Minister of Culture … the dead were not buried, and they are preoccupied with cheap politics and dancing on blood. This is a disgrace,” Yediot Aharonot reported.

“The blood has not dried up,” Yaalon wrote on Twitter. “The hunt for the port is still at its height, and the minister of culture is exploiting it for a terrible and unprecedented political exploitation.”

“If (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu (Likud) has any responsibility towards the state, he must expel them from his government.”

“They were shocked in a blue-white alliance because of the truth,” Regev said. “The attacks are because of the incitement of the Palestinian leadership that Tibi supports.”

Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also attacked Netanyahu, saying his policies were “damaging to Israel’s deterrent power. Today’s attack is a direct result of the government’s policy of surrender to Gaza.”

Lieberman resigned from Netanyahu’s government in November to protest Netanyahu’s acceptance of a truce to end two days of fighting with Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.

Likud MK Oren Hazan, a member of the Knesset (parliament), said that “those who encourage operations are Netanyahu. His hands are stained with the blood of the Israeli dead and wounded.”

“Whoever pays the money to Hamas, and whoever seeks excuses to avoid confrontation in Gaza, when the rockets are fired from them, is the one who attacks us,” he said.

From time to time, the Israeli army has launched bloody raids on Gaza, which it has been besieging since 2006, resulting in extremely poor living and health conditions, affecting more than 2 million people.

“She has to get out of the sand and look at reality. The government and its president are vulnerable to terrorism,” he told Regev.

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