Former general Yoav Galant addresses a political gathering in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: NURIT ZATLAWI)
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, the No. 2 candidate on Moshe Kahlon’s Koolanu list, issued harsh criticism of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday, saying that the Likud minister had proven to be a “strategic liability” for Israel.
Speaking in an interview with Channel 10, Galant, a former leading candidate to be IDF chief of staff whose candidacy was torpedoed by a scandal involving allegations that he illegally expanded the property of his home in 2011, attacked Ya’alon’s functioning during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
“A person who achieved only a tie with a weak enemy like Hamas and leads the IDF in such a manner is unequivocally a strategic liability, not an asset,” Galant charged.
“You let Israel’s citizens be subject to rocket fire for 50 days, hour after hour, minute after minute. When you accept losses, and in the end sit down with Hamas to negotiate – that is a liability,” he added.
The country suffers when the defense minister is not fit to carry out the job, Galant added, citing as an example Amir Peretz, who was defense minister during the Second Lebanon War and is often credited with initiating development of the Iron Dome rocket defense system.
“I suggest we not fall for gimmicks with regard to the Iron Dome. The credit should go to Rafael [Advanced Defense Systems] and to the engineers that developed Iron Dome, not to Peretz,” Galant said.
Galant, who formerly served as the chief of the IDF’s Southern Command, deflected blame for the tunnel threat from Hamas developing under his watch.
“There was only one tunnel and we blew it up. When I left the Southern Command there were no known tunnels. They started being made afterward,” he said.