Israel's beleaguered minister of defense was blinded by criticism over photos taken of him watching military maneuvers through binoculars with the lens caps still on.

Various newspapers published photos of the in-the-dark Amir Peretz peering through the dysfunctional binoculars during an inspection of Israeli troops in the Syria-bordering Golan Heights, the BBC reported.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi pointed out the war moves and explained them to Peretz, who looked through the capped device three times and nodded, according to the BBC, even though all he saw was black.

"The outlook is dark for Peretz," joked top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot.

Photographs splashed across Israel's two major newspapers on Thursday, showed Peretz, lips set in concentration, face tilted to the light and eyes glued to binoculars ... with their black lens caps still firmly on.

Alongside him, his right-hand man, Ashkenazi, kitted out in battle dress, expertly adjusts his own binoculars to watch troops going through their paces on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Peretz, a former trade union chief whose own military experience is limited to national service, has been vilified in Israel for his perceived mishandling of last year's war in Lebanon.

A vast majority of Israelis want him to resign from the defense ministry on the grounds of chronic incompetence and military inexperience.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.