Eizenkot slams leaflets targeting senior IDF officer

IDF Chief of Staff comes out against right-wing Israelis who distributed leaflets criticizing IDF Colonel Gilad Amit.

Tzvi Lev ,

Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot backed up Samarian Regional Brigade Commander Gilad Amit after right-wing Israelis plastered leaflets at hitchhiking stops criticizing him for "shooting at Jews".

In a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Eizenkot said that "it saddens me that extremist elements so decided to mark Israel’s 70th Independence Day. The same elements are working against those day and night protecting the security of the state and its citizens, in a professional manner and are deserving of admiration."

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman concurred, saying that "The leaflets inciting against the commander of the Samaria Brigade are a shame and disgrace. We will act with all means to bring those responsible to justice."

Police had arrested four residents of Samaria on Thursday for hanging up the leaflets. The flyers had accused Amit of "shooting at Jewish people" and decried his "harassment of the settlement movement". The four are charged with insulting a public servant and were brought before a judge on Thursday.

The Honenu legal organization, which is representing the four, decried the arrests, contending that police had detained their clients in order to censor them. "As the Supreme Court has ruled in the past, these are not crimes and definitely not crimes that warrant an arrest," said Attorney Nati Rom.

“The police are using detention as a punitive measure, and this is against the law,”

The four had hung up flyers after an attempted evacuation of an outpost near Itamar in Samaria on Saturday turned violent. Soldiers had reacted with tear gas and riot control measures and fired into the air after allegedly being attacked by rioters.