Vice PM Yaalon
Vice PM YaalonFlash 90

Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu) said Saturday evening that the steps taken against "Prisoner X" Ben Zygier were necessary in order to save lives.

"We are a unique country in terms of our security situation," Yaalon told Channel 2's Meet the Press."

Asked why Zygier was arrested, he said, "Out of considerations of pikuach nefesh [the halakhic precept that refers to the saving of lives], we needed to take such a step.

"If we reached this situation, there must have been a misstep that required steps to be taken with proper consideration and under full monitoring."

Yaalon stressed that Zygier's relatives in Australia and the Australian authorities were updated in real time about developments regarding Zygier.

"The state of Israel is not a dark regime. Every suicide in jail necessitates an investigation and this is what happened in this case, too. We know how to learn lessons."

Yaalon attacked MKs Zehava Galon (Meretz), Ahmad Tibi (Raam Taal) and Dov Chenin (Hadash) for forcing Israel to reveal details of the Zygier affair, by talking about it in the Knesset plenum. "There was political advantage-taking here," he said. "Other MKs knew how to bring the matter under scrutiny through subcommittees, without compromising state security."