Ya’alon Slammed For Bennett Squabble Amid Gaza Mortar Fire

September 16, 2014  

MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) sharply criticized Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for cracking down on suspected unauthorized leaks of IDF information to Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) on Tuesday – the same day that a mortar shell from Gaza breached the ceasefire.

“Hamas fired a multi-rocket salvo in honor of the agreement to reconstruct Gaza. But the defense minister is busy hazing (former IDF Chief) Rabbi (Avichai) Ronski and slandering Minister Bennett,” wrote Struk, noting a dispute over information Bennett reportedly used to attack top IDF brass in Security Cabinet meetings.

While Ronski was identified in reports as being the suspected source of the leaks who was later dismissed, he told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that he did not pass any materials to Bennett, has not heard anything of the dismissal – and indeed still is scheduled to perform reserve duty next month.

Struk went on to glowingly defend her party chairman, writing “as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the operations Brother’s Keeper and Protective Edge, I can say with certainty: if not from the firmness, creativity and courage, and the unmediated connection to the territory of Naftali, both operations would have looked different for the worse.”

A senior political source disagreed with that assessment on Tuesday, claiming “Bennett slept in the field during Protective Edge because he needed pictures and Facebook ‘likes,’ at a time when the defense minister managed the war with discretion,” reports Walla!.

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) also responded to the mortar fire on Tuesday night, saying “the IDF must respond strongly to every breach of the ceasefire.”

“This is a test of the strength of Israel’s deterrence,” added Hotovely. “The absence of a clear response will return Israeli citizens to the routine of rocket sirens.”

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