IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Wednesday that the appointment of Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon to head Central Command is not a message to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron, or Yesha) that the IDF intends to pursue an adversarial agenda against them.
Alon is perceived by Jewish Yesha residents as leftist and ideologically opposed to nationalists due to public statements he made during his tenure as the top IDF commander in Judea and Samaria.
Some nationalists saw a connection between the appointment of an officer perceived as hostile and the recent "price tag" events at the Ephraim Regiment Base, in which Jews are suspected of involvement in vandalism against Arabs and soldiers.
The event at the Ephraim Regiment Base "has been studied and lessons have been learned," Gantz assured. He denied that soldiers have been instructed to fire at Yesha residents who riot.
"There has been no change in instructions; we do not intend to shoot people. We will detain, take action and transfer the rioters to the Israel police," he said.