IDF chief Kohavi calls Netanyahu, voices concerns over IDF laws

Kohavi initiated the call, citing concerns over the slew of legislation aimed at the IDF and the impact it could have.

 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi at a conference after a security cabinet meeting following the escalation of violence in with the Gaza Strip, at the Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv, on November 12, 2019.  (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi at a conference after a security cabinet meeting following the escalation of violence in with the Gaza Strip, at the Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv, on November 12, 2019.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi expressed grave concerns to Netanyahu about the upcoming government's planned policy changes to the IDF, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

A phone call lasting a few minutes took place between the two on Thursday night, Israeli media reported on Monday, adding that outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz (National Unity) approved the call beforehand. 

According to an unnamed source, Kohavi initiated the call, citing concerns over the slew of legislation aimed at the IDF and the harm that he warned could be harmed as a result.

The chief of staff specifically decried the transfer of power over the Border Police in the West Bank to Ben-Gvir, and the transfer of COGAT and the Civil Administration to Smotrich, from the Israeli security apparatus to politicians. 

According to the source, Netanyahu assured him of the difference between a coalition agreement and codification into law, and that there is still more time for debate. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a press conference alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi on Operation Guardian of the Walls, May 21, 2021 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address a press conference alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi on Operation Guardian of the Walls, May 21, 2021 (credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

The source added that Kohavi waited until Netanyahu announced he has formed a government to make the call. 

Netanyahu's office did not address the call, while the IDF Spokesperson's Unit confirmed it occurred.