No apology from Bennett

Education Minister rebuffs criticism of remarks that IDF soldiers more concerned with military prosecutor than with Hamas terrorists.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett was unfazed by criticism of his remarks Monday in which he said that IDF officers of more concerned with the military prosecutor than they are with the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar.

Bennett's remarks drew a harsh response from Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, who said: "The Military Advocate General's Office, headed by the Military Advocate General, Major General Sharon Afek, is working tirelessly to provide the IDF with the legal framework necessary to exert its military power to defeat our enemies, in compliance with the provisions of the law. The Attorney General supports their important work."

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said in response to Bennett's statement by saying that he "is proud of the IDF fighters who are on their guard, are acting with determination and with great commitment in all sectors of the fighting and are defending the residents of the State of Israel."

"The Military Advocate General's Office is part of the IDF's strength and helps him shoulder to shoulder with the commanders and fighters to realize the operational mission and win the war. Major General Sharon Afek fulfills his duties with professionalism and excellence, which is highly respected in the IDF and beyond. The IDF must be left out of any political debate," Eizenkot added.

Bennett's office said in response to the criticism: "Minister Bennett expressed his clear position this morning - in the IDF, and not only there, there is a lot of legalization today. Minister Bennett believes that today IDF soldiers are pushed into the corner by excessive legal hoops, in a manner that harms the level of IDF operations and soldiers, beyond the limits of international law. The balances are not correct today."

"Bennett is deeply appreciative of the IDF commanders, headed by Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot."

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich voiced his support for Bennett's position.

"The weights placed by the jurists on the legs of the fighters and the commanders are life-threatening ... The procedure is to knock on the roof, not use the neighbor's procedure and in so doing endanger the lives of our soldiers so as not to harm the enemy population. This is a significant part of the IDF's castration," Smotrich said.