Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Thursday his intention to remove Army Radio from the IDF.
The decision came following a long debate over the necessity of a military radio station.
A Defense Ministry statement said that Gantz’s decision came after a recommendation made by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi.
“The decision derives from the need to distinguish the service of IDF soldiers from the actions of a media outlet where soldiers wearing uniform are dealing with political content,” the statement said.
In the coming days, the Defense Ministry will set up an intra-ministerial team, headed by its Director-General Amir Eshel, to include representatives from the Defense, Justice, and Communications Ministries.
Following the announcement, Gantz said that the decision is a moral one, and not due to budget cuts.
“The free media in Israel is highly important, and I will keep protecting it and its independence,” he said.
“However, the existence of a military station in the IDF is not acceptable at this time. I decided that soldiers will not deal with politics in any way; it goes against IDF values, and against needed integrity [within the IDF].
“I value the Army Radio and its contribution to the Israeli media…[but] it will be right to look for a different channel for its future activity,” Gantz added.