Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday of leaking information about a cabinet meeting during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
The accusation came in a Knesset session after Netanyahu told the members of a closed Likud faction meeting Monday that “It is impossible to run a cabinet via Twitter and leaks.”
“Netanyahu, you leaked information during a military campaign, from a cabinet meeting I was present at,” Lapid declared from the Knesset podium.
Lapid challenged the prime minister to “tell me to my face that it is not true. We both know it’s true,” Lapid said. “You leaked then and you are the one who leaked now, when the nation is under threat, you and all your ministers.”
The matter of cabinet leaks surfaced yet again after reports circulated of a heated exchange between Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot during a Security Cabinet meeting.
After Bennett made clear that he advocated targeting any and all Gazans who launch incendiary kites or balloons into Israel, the chief of staff stated his opposition. "I disagree with you. It's against my operational and moral positions," Eisenkot demurred.
Earlier Monday, during an interview with Ynet, Defense Minister Lieberman criticized Bennett saying: "It is abhorrent for a politician to try to score political points on the back of the IDF chief.”
Following Lapid's accusations, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin attacked the Yesh Atid leader, arguing that the prime minister bore no responsibility for leaking the discussion.
Levin said that only Netanyahu was present at both the Security-Cabinet and the subcommittee for Intelligence, which Levin headed, during Operation Protective Edge, and while the cabinet suffered from many leaks, the water-tight Intelligence Committee was leak free.
Levin invited Lapid to withdraw his accusation. “I propose that he respect the status of the prime minister. One cannot doubt his commitment to the security of the state as well as the discreet and responsible way in which he manages the security affairs of the State of Israel," the minister said.
Prior to his allegations in the Knesset, Lapid attacked Netanyahu at a Yesh Atid faction meeting. “You know how to stop the kite terror? Why didn’t you do so three months ago?” Lapid asked.
"With whom did you enact a cease-fire? Nothing was done for four years and now too nothing has been done. Mr. Security does not bring security. There is no plan, no strategy, and no security."
Lapid further accused Netanyahu of eroding Israeli deterrence. “Hamas has burnt an area the size of Netanya, launched 200 rockets and then declared a ceasefire. Who is managing our security? Yahya Sinwar?” He asked sarcastically.