Bennett: Stop using IDF for cynical political goals

PM says army needs full backing even after mistakes are are following shooting death of Barel Shmueli.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Hezki Baruch

Prime Minister Naftali Bennettt began the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday by reiterating his full backing of the IDF's leadership following the shooting death of Border Police officer Sgt. Barel Shmueli during riots on the Gaza border.

"I want to send a clear message from here to the soldiers in uniform and all Israeli citizens: I fully support the IDF commanders and their soldiers. The IDF guards us all year round, our job is to protect the IDF," Bennett said.

The Prime Minister said: "As someone who knows the battlefield and has commanded soldiers, and as someone who has lost good brothers in arms, I know that when decisions are made during operational events - there are also mistakes, and sometimes they are painful and difficult. This is how it is when fighting the enemy, and the soldiers and commanders need to receive our backing, especially when there are mistakes."

"There are those who try to use the IDF as a tool to advance cynical political goals. It hurts our resilience and it is an inappropriate thing. Stop it. Many battles are still ahead of us, unfortunately, and the IDF needs to be protected, so that it can protect us all." Bennett stressed.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz this morning (Sunday) referred to criticism of the IDF after the death of Barel Shmueli on the Gaza Strip border, and said that the IDF is learning lessons from the incident and maintains contact with the bereaved family.

''This is our army, for better or worse, in times of routine, and in times of emergency and war. Even when an event like the death of the Barel happens, we demand that the IDF continue to act, investigate, improve and stay in good contact with the family," Gantz said.