Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, said on Tuesday that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon should not be criticized for cancelling a visit to Kibbutz Nahal Oz for what was said to be “security considerations”.
The cancellation of the visit caused anger among members of the kibbutz and was also criticized by a poster on Bennett’s Facebook page.
Bennett, in response, said that "the criticism of the Defense Minister in this regard is unfair and inappropriate. He knew that his presence would endanger the residents there. That’s all.”
He continued, "Ya’alon doesn’t have to prove his courage to anyone. He's one of the most daring military commanders in the last generation."
The criticism of Gantz and Ya’alon after members of Nahal Oz were informed that the two, who were visiting the Gaza Belt and were scheduled to visit Nahal Oz, had changed their plans due to “security considerations”.
The criticism was especially harsh due to the fact that the scheduled visit was scheduled for the day after a four-year-old boy from Nahal Oz, Daniel Tragerman, was killed by a Hamas mortar shell.
The Defense Ministry said in response to the criticism that the visit had been planned with the Chief of Staff and his deputy, Major General Gadi Eizenkot.
“They visited the Shaar Hanegev region and heard the complaints of the residents, but prior to their visit to Nahal Oz, mortar shells were fired, and this led to the concern that Hamas is aware of the Chief of Staff's presence in the area.
"The courage of Defense Minister, who has been in much more dangerous places during his military service, should not be doubted,” the ministry added.