Bennett reveals 'courageous' Mossad mission to find Ron Arad

PM at opening of Knesset winter assembly: Dedication to returning prisoners sets Israel and Jewish people apart.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Shulo Shalom/TPS

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett unveiled on Monday afternoon an operation by the Mossad to locate the whereabouts of missing Israeli navigator Ron Arad.

In a speech to the Knesset plenum, Bennett said: "Last month, men and women from the Mossad went on an operation aimed at finding new information about Ron Arad's fate and whereabouts. It was a complex, large-scale operation. That's all I can say about it right now."

"We made another effort on the way to understanding what happened to Ron," the prime minister said. "I would like to thank the officers of the Mossad, on my part - and also on behalf of Tami and Yuval Arad, for their dedication, commitment and brotherhood of soldiers, even after all these years. I would also like to thank the IDF and the Shabak for their extraordinary cooperation. The redemption of prisoners is a Jewish value that has become one of the most sacred values ​​of the State of Israel."

"This is the kind of thing that seems strange, perhaps a little out of proportion, to those who look at the State of Israel from the outside, but this is what defines us and sets us apart. We will continue to work to bring all our boys home, from wherever they may be," Bennett promised.

The prime minister's remarks come as the Knesset begins its winter assembly of the 24th Knesset.

The opening session was attended by President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Knesset Speaker Miki Levy, Supreme Court President Justice Esther Hayut, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the coming weeks, there will be a discussion in the plenum and votes on proposals of no confidence in the government and on the first bills that were tabled in the Knesset ahead of the session.

Due to the great tension within the coalition it was decided that until the final approval of the state budget and the Arrangements Law in the second and third readings, no bill on which there is no full agreement will be put to a vote.

Knesset Speaker Miki Levy said at the opening of the winter assembly: "The time has come to end the sweeping and unprecedented boycott by the opposition. There has never been such a thing in the Knesset. They refuse to take a critical part in Israeli democracy."

"We will have to change the nature of the discourse in which we conduct the debates between us," said the Speaker of the Knesset. "I, too, have sinned in this matter in the past."

President Herzog said in the plenum: "The day-to-day clashes in this jouse, the style, the bluntness - that's what our boys and girls see." Herzog also said in the Knesset plenum: "This house must find a way to return to a respectful discourse between the coalition and the opposition, and between the opposition and the coalition."

"Dealing with violence in Arab society is an important national challenge. I am sure there will be a wall-to-wall agreement on the issue. We must not get used to murders and assassinations, nor accept the reality of crippling civil terrorism. This is an emergency that requires us all to act together," Herzog said.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in plenary: "This government was sworn in 113 days ago. These have been days full of work. Many of the country's areas of activity were covered in a layer of neglect dust. Two years of inaction, of procrastination and degeneration - from the Iranian nuclear program, through housing prices to endless traffic jams. Everything was neglected while we were busy with four elections and one plague."

Likud MKs raged during Bennett's speech, shouted at the prime minister and left the plenum. Bennett said: "A total of three and a half months have passed since we started, and you can already see, beyond the matter-of-fact atmosphere and cooperation, there are also results: we are braking the Delta wave, without one day of lockdown."

"The budget passed in the government and in the first reading in the Knesset, will soon pass in the second and third. Budget means functionality - the state returned to functionality.

Bennett added: ''We are addressing the housing price challenge, this year will break an all-time record in land marketing for the construction of housing units, and even more will be built in the coming years. We will pay special attention to the Golan Heights, with the goal of significantly increasing settlement in the Golan Heights."

"On our watch - you are ... no longer second class citizens. "Growth is rising, the deficit is shrinking, unemployment is falling," the prime minister added.