IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi on Tuesday updated the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee regarding a variety of security challenges: From the Palestinian situation, to Iran, to the movement of some IDF reservists to quit to protest the government's judicial reform policy.
Halevi gave brief public remarks, following which he was due to spend several hours meeting with the committee in a classified closed session.
The IDF chief said, "The connection between the IDF and the committee is important, it is an important opportunity to present a situation assessment and the state of readiness," of the IDF.
Next, he said he would explain the IDF's status for confronting "the strategic, operational and multifront challenges," it currently faces, making references to the Palestinians, "close challenges" and to Iran, "far challenges."
In addition, the IDF chief is expected to brief the committee on the ongoing low-grade but unpredictable conflict with Hezbollah over certain border violations as well as the ongoing “war between the wars” campaign of the IDF against Iranian proxies in Syria.
He said that, "The IDF must be ready and on guard so that it can strengthen deterrence" of its enemies as well as "to secure a good reality for Israeli citizens and the State of Israel."
The IDF must be ready and unified to confront Israel's challenges
In order to confront these challenges, Halevi said that the IDF must not only be ready but also unified.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense chairman MK Yuli Edelstein noted that this might be a greater challenge in the current era, a clear reference to the ongoing battle of IDF reservists against judicial reform.
Although Halevi was more patient with reservists' calls to quit in February, at this point he said, "Anyone calling not to show up for service, harms the IDF and the security of the state."
Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman responded to Halevi's attacks on IDF reservists' refusing their call-ups, by himself calling for the IDF chief to resign if the government's repeal of the reasonability clause passes.
Liberman said that past IDF chiefs have resigned when they felt the government, through budget issues or otherwise, was endangering the readiness or functioning of the IDF.
He said that if the government repeal goes into law that the responsible thing for Halevi to do would be to resign in protest to try to protect the IDF and the country.
He would be obligated to take responsibility. He would be obligated to resign. He would have no other choice," said Liberman, who is also a former defense minister.