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Yaalon Saves General from Knesset Embarrassment

Defense Minister tells IDF Commander not to speak at committee when settler leaders are present.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/21/2013, 9:27 AM

Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon
IDF Spokesman

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has instructed Judea and Samaria Division Commander not to appear before the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee when heads of the settlement movement are in the room, Maariv reported Tuesday.

"The Defense Minister has confirmed that the Head of Central Command will attend the committee session," a source close to the minister said, "but he has instructed that the settler leaders will be the ones to present their complaints first, and only after them – with the presence of the MKs only – will the general give an assessment of the security situation on the ground."

"Yaalon wants to prevent a situation in which they create a show at the expense of an IDF officer, or even attempt to attack him verbally in a manner that does not befit his status or rank."

Maariv reported Monday that MKs are saying that Alon refuses to appear before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee this Wednesday, if heads of Jewish communities are in the room at the same time.

The session was set at the request of MK Moti Yogev, who heads the Committee's Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, after the recent surge in firebomb and rock attacks on Israeli vehicles in Judea and Samaria.

Besides Alon, invitees include the head of the Yesha Committee – a federation of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria – Avi Roeh, Yesha Committee Director Ron Shechner, and the Security Officer of the Binyamin Regional Council, Avigdor Shatz.