08/28/2014, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE

Netanyahu declares Gaza war a "victory” as criticism mounts in Israel

The Prime Minister hails the seven week conflict a success, because Hamas was "hit hard" and their requests have been denied. Analysts and members of the extreme right disavow government proclamations. No victory, tourism industry at its knees, risk of recession and reduced security.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the seven-week war in Gaza ended with a "victory" both politically and militarily. He was speaking yesterday during a television interview, rejecting criticism - in particular from the extreme right - that wanted a wider offensive in the Gaza Strip. The head of the government also added that the Palestinian movement Hamas - who in turn have claimed "victory" - was "hit hard" and "saw none of their demands met" by Israel.

Yesterday, for the first time since 2007, a UN World Food Programme convoy entered Gaza, bringing enough food to at least 150 thousand people for five days; fishing vessels were allowed to take to the sea due to the partial easing of restrictions. Thousands of Palestinians returned to their homes, while the truce was held for the entire day and anti-missile systems in Israel remained silent. There were no violations of the cease-fire on either side.

Commenting on the agreement, Netanyahu said nothing would be gained by pursuing "unrealisitic objectives" and that "populism" had to be put aside. The Gaza truce, however, does not satisfy a substantial part of the Israeli public, which has criticized the Prime Minister for the high costs of a war that did not end with a "clear victory" on the ground.

Writing in the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the analyst Shimon Shiffer demanded the resignation of the prime minister; Ben Caspit of Maariv added that there is no victory for Israel in a conflict that has devastated the tourism industry, has pushed the economy to the brink of recession and has not improved the security issue.

Netanyahu was even criticised by allies of his government: first among these Uzi Landau, of the far-right party Yisrael Beiten, who described the outcome of the war as "very grim," because it was not a sufficient deterrent to rule out other attacks in the future from Gaza.

 

 

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