MK Oren Hazan (Likud) criticized IDF spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manlis following his statement that the IDF did not intend to liquidate terrorists during the destruction of the network of terror tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel Monday.
At least seven terrorists were killed in the destruction of the tunnels, including members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations. One of the terrorists killed was a senior official in Islamic Jihad.
"This statement by the IDF spokesperson makes light of the incredible intelligence success of the destruction of the tunnels, and harmed Israel's security," Hazan said.
According to MK Hazan, the IDF spokesman was wrong to say that the deaths of the terrorists were unintentional. "This was a slip of the tongue by a ranked officer. I expected Defense Minister [Avigdor] Liberman to reprimand him and put him in his place."
"This is not the first time that the IDF spokesperson has responded incorrectly. As in the case of Elor Azariya, the IDF spokesperson was not restrained. I hope that these are not systematic mistakes which come from Minister Liberman. They may be remnants from the period of disgraced former minister [Moshe] Ya'alon," Hazan added. Ya'alon' was Defense Minister when his deputy compared Israeli behavior to Nazi Germany while at Yad Veshem.
Hazan's statements follow a similar rebuke of the IDF spokesperson from Education Minister Naftali Bennett.
“The IDF succeeded yesterday in eliminating terrorists involved in digging tunnels to be used [in operations] to kill Israeli women and children,” Bennett said on Monday. “We must not apologize for eliminating terrorists.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman criticized Bennett, calling his statements statements a “blatant attack on the IDF and its commanders."
Bennett refused to retract his criticism, and emphasized that "Israel will not apologize for the killing of terrorists, and will do so to the extent which is necessary."