Foreign Affairs and Security Committee session
Foreign Affairs and Security Committee sessionNoam Moskowitz, Knesset Spokesperson

During a Foreign Affairs and Security Committee session, held behind closed doors, on the subject of the IDF report on "settler violence," demanded by MKs Amit Halevi and Limor Son Har-Melech, the IDF clarified that no such report exists.

A senior IDF official told the committee, "There is no such concept 'settler violence.' There is nationalistic crime, but we are talking about a few incidents. The report published on Galei Zahal does not exist. We have great respect for the residents of Judea and Samaria. They are our brothers, and it is our job to ensure their safety."

He noted that a weekly meeting is held between the various agencies entrusted with public security and order, including the IDF, the Shin Bet and the police. These meetings include informative discussions and the coordination and classification of information in an organized manner, in order to correlate actions and dialogue between these agencies. The IDF official emphasized that there have been only a handful of incidents, and that "these incidents must be denounced by everyone, so that the few do not tarnish an entire population."

In addition, a senior IDF official said in the confidential discussion that it was a mistake to hold the "kidnapping" exercise by the settlers.

MK Ram Ben Barak was furious with the right wing MKs, saying "It's a logical and legitimate scenario. Even if it's only a handful, you do not want to give them any backup." The right-wing MKs responded, "That's exactly why we held this debate. We want to know about the incidents and if they even exist."

It should be noted that although representatives of the Shin Bet, National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were invited to the meeting, they chose not to attend.

Committee chairman, MK Yuli Edelstein, said at the conclusion of the discussion that "the members of the committee strongly condemn any incidence of violence, even more so from the Jewish side, but they are equally opposed to any collective accusation of a group that it creates violence against anyone, and that one should avoid taking marginal cases out of proportion."