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.