Mon 15 Apr 2024 7:28 pm - Jerusalem Time

Lapid: Netanyahu caused the killing of prisoners in Gaza by obstructing an exchange deal

On Monday, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of causing the death of dozens of Israeli detainees in Gaza by obstructing a prisoner exchange agreement with Hamas, and called for the overthrow of his government by holding early elections “now.”

For months, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been leading indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas with the aim of reaching a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip and an exchange of prisoners and detainees between the two parties.

Lapid, head of the “There is a Future” party, said in a video speech broadcast on Monday evening, via his account on the “X” platform: “Netanyahu’s government is weakening Israel. This should not happen.”

He added: "The day this government leaves, Israel's power will be greatly strengthened at all levels: security, political, and economic."

Lapid continued: “I want to remind everyone who fears change these days: We know how to run a country, we did it better than them, and we will do it better than them.”

Lapid previously served as Israeli Prime Minister from July 1, 2022 to December 29, 2022.

Lapid continued in his speech: “I do not think that anyone has any doubts that we will manage relations with the United States in a very better way, and instead of being destroyed, we will return and build with them a regional alliance that will stand up to the Iranian threat and stop the Iranian nuclear program.”

He said: "I do not think that anyone has any doubts that we will manage the economy very well, because we will manage it for the benefit of the middle class, for the benefit of the productive and working public and the reservists, and not for the benefit of specific sectors and for the benefit of political blackmail."

He added: "I do not think that anyone has any doubts that we will manage security very well, simply because it cannot be managed any worse than Netanyahu is doing, who is leading us from one disaster to another."

Lapid considered that “all that remains of “Mr. Security” (a nickname given to Netanyahu) is destroyed villages from Be’eri (along Gaza/south) to Kiryat Shmona (in the Galilee/north), and the violence of Jewish terrorists (referring to settlers in the West Bank). "They are out of control, and a complete loss of Israeli deterrence."

Lapid continued: “What is worse is that no one has any doubts that as long as Netanyahu remains prime minister, he will continue to obstruct reaching a deal to release the kidnapped people... Time is ticking and they are dying.”

In this regard, he said: "Dozens of kidnapped people died in captivity, because the government did not conclude a deal in a timely manner."

The Israeli opposition leader concluded his speech by saying: "Our problem is Iran, but our problem is also here. If we do not overthrow this government in time, it will bring ruin upon us. It is already bringing it. It is time for elections immediately."

Yesterday, Sunday, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office considered that Hamas responded "negatively" to the broad outlines provided to it by the mediators regarding the ceasefire proposal with Israel, which it received last Monday.

Hamas has repeatedly announced its commitment to ending the war, the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their areas, and the freedom to bring in humanitarian and relief aid, within a prisoner exchange agreement.

Netanyahu is facing criticism from the Israeli street and a number of politicians, even those affiliated with the War Council, against the backdrop of the prisoner crisis in Gaza and the failure to find a path to guarantee their return alive, and some of them accuse him of obstructing the deal to release them.

Tel Aviv holds at least 9,400 Palestinians in its prisons, and estimates that there are about 134 Israeli prisoners in Gaza, while Hamas announced that 70 of them were killed in random Israeli raids.

Israel continues its war despite the issuance of an immediate ceasefire resolution by the Security Council, and despite its appearance before the International Court of Justice on charges of committing "genocide."


Share your opinion

Lapid: Netanyahu caused the killing of prisoners in Gaza by obstructing an exchange deal