JERUSALEM (JTA) — The parents of soldiers killed in Israel’s 2014 Gaza War verbally attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government during a Knesset hearing, with one throwing a cup of water at a lawmaker.
At the Knesset State Control Committee hearing Wednesday on the state comptroller’s report on the war, the mother of Lt. Hadar Goldin, a soldier whose remains are still held by Hamas in Gaza, told Netanyahu that he has turned the bereaved families seeking the return of their children’s remains into “enemies of the people.”
When Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar interrupted Leah Goldin to tell her that her accusations were inappropriate, she responded, “I wasn’t asking you. I don’t even know your name, you rude man. Be quiet!” and threw a cup of water at him.
The report, issued in February, found that the prime minister, defense minister and army chief of staff did not update the security cabinet about the serious threat of Hamas tunnels from Gaza, and that the military failed to identify and destroy them. It also found that the government did not provide the military with clear objectives for the war.
Ilan Sagi, whose son Erez was killed in an attack near the Gaza border through one of the Hamas tunnels, said that when the state comptroller’s report came out, it was “like someone took a knife and stabbed me in the heart,” and that at the hearing, Netanyahu was “twisting and twisting the knife.”
Netanyahu responded that he “can’t know what it’s like to be a bereaved father.”
He also said that Israel tried to prevent the war, and also wanted to avoid the ground campaign, but felt it necessary to go in due to the tunnels.
Sixty-eight Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed in Israel during the war. Over 2,000 Palestinians were killed in the conflict, with Israel claiming that most were combatants.