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Meretz leader: Israel should not have gone into Gaza

In an interview with Al-Monitor, leftist Meretz Party head Zehava Gal-On explains that she does not worry about finding herself left out of the Israeli security consensus following her call for a unilateral cease-fire.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (L) and Israeli lawmaker Zahava Gal-On, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, give a statement to the media in the West Bank city of Ramallah August 26, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3754Z

Israeli ground troops had already entered Gaza when Meretz Party Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On was asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu what she would do in his place. She immediately answered that she would never have gotten into this situation in the first place, because she would have given the Palestinian unity government a chance. She believes that if that had happened, the current escalation could have been avoided.

The meeting between Netanyahu and the left-wing Meretz Party leader, who's calling for a unilateral cease-fire with Hamas, took place July 18. All in all, the mood was friendly. The meeting was intended to update Gal-On about the current situation, something which Netanyahu, as the prime minister, is not obligated to do. Nevertheless, despite all the security issues on his desk, Netanyahu set aside time that morning to meet with the other leaders of the opposition parties, including Gal-On, Shas Party Chairman Arieh Deri and Kadima Party Chairman Shaul Mofaz. By meeting with them, Netanyahu apparently wanted to bolster the political consensus about the ground incursion into Gaza, even among the opposition parties.

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