The Prime Minister's Office responded to criticism from senior members of the defense establishment against Naftali Bennett's decision to disclose the covert operation to locate information about Israeli navigator Ron Arad.
"The campaign to obtain intelligence about Ron Arad was a successful operation carried out while meeting exceptional operational goals," the Prime Minister's Office said, claiming that "bringing the information to Knesset members and the general public was worthwhile, expressing the great effort and commitment to bring our boys home after they have been captured by the enemy. Any other dissemination of information is a lie."
Mossad chief David Barnea spoke about the secret operation to locate information about the Israeli navigator Ron Arad, the same operation that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed in the Knesset plenum Monday.
According to the report by Channel 12 News, Barnea said that this was a "brave, bold, complex but failed operation. A failure. We will continue our efforts."
In a speech marking the opening of the Knesset's winter session, 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 soldierly brotherhood, 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.