Naftali Bennett and Ofer Winter
Naftali Bennett and Ofer WinterAriel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

The commander of the Central Command, Major General Tamir Yedai, presented today (Wednesday) to Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi an investigation into an ongoing conversation between Brigadier General Ofer Winter and MK Naftali Bennett.

Following the findings of the investigation, the Chief of Staff summoned the officer for questioning and decided to issue a command reprimand due to the ban on direct contact between IDF personnel and elected officials.

Bennett and Brigadier General Ofer Winter have been friends for decades, since they served together as fighters in the General Staff Reconnaissance Regiment, and later were assigned together as young officers to assist in the establishment of the Maglan unit.

Later in his military career, Winter commanded the Duvdevan unit and the Givati Brigade, which he led in combat in Gaza in Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

It was under Winter's command that the incident in which Hadar Goldin was murdered and his body taken by Hamas terrorists during a cease-fire occurred.

Winter is considered a talented military commander, but he has faced criticism for alleged 'religious coercion' of soldiers during the 2014 conflict over comments implying the conflict was religious in nature. It later emerged that during the operation he was talking to his longtime friend Bennett, then a cabinet minister, and the conversation angered his commanders.