Galant walks back comments linking Syria strike, election

Bennett: "Galant's words were unnecessary and disappointing, and can be used as ammunition by the nation's enemies."

Yoav Galant  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Yoav Galant
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Koolanu’s number two candidate and security figure Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant retracted comments seemingly linking a reputed Israeli air strike in Syria to upcoming elections.
A Sunday air strike attributed by foreign media to Israel killed several Hezbollah agents, including the son of the Shi’ite terrorist group’s late military leader Imad Mughniyeh, and reportedly several Iranian Revolutionary Guard agents as well.
Speaking on Channel 2 on Sunday night, Galant said, “From past events you can learn that sometimes there is timing that is not unrelated to campaigns.”
The comment elicited sharp responses from other politicians.
“Without referring to the facts of the event, Galant’s words were unnecessary and disappointing, and can be used as ammunition by the nation’s enemies” Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said, calling on Galant to revoke his statement.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) also criticized Galant, telling Israel radio that the statement was “unfortunate.”
Questioned on Monday on Army Radio, the major-general withdrew his comments.
“Look, there are a lot of activities, a lot of missions and sadly a lot of election campaigns – every two to three years – and I don’t believe that there’s a connection,” he said.
“I just said that it’s possible that someone might think that. I don’t think that.”
Though Israel has not taken responsibility for the attack, an Israeli defense official told Reuters that escalation was “definitely possible...We’re bracing for that possibility.”