Opposition head Yair Lapid chimed in on Twitter Wednesday against negative remarks made against a senior IDF general, saying that “attacks from the coalition on the general of the Central Command must stop.”
He continued, "this government is hurting the IDF and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should condemn these statements.”
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke out early against Likud MK Avichay Boaron on Tuesday after the latter accused Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs of valuing Palestinians over Israelis.
What did the Likud MK say about a senior IDF general?
Boaron’s comments, made following Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Ma'aleh Adumim in which six Israelis were injured prior to the terrorist being killed, were directed at Fuchs, who heads the IDF Central Command. In the interview on KAN Reshet Bet, the MK, who joined the Knesset after Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem resigned in accordance with the Norwegian Law, accused Fuchs of valuing freedom of movement for Palestinians over the security of Israelis. “Allowing freedom of movement for Palestinians is more important than protecting Israelis,” Boaron said.
In response, Gallant wrote on Twitter that ”Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs is a professional officer [who] dedicates his life to the defense of the people of Israel.
"Any attack on IDF officers by public figures undermines Israel's security."
Halevi added in a separate statement that "Fuchs is a warrior and a moral and outstanding commander.
"Under his command, the commanders and soldiers work day and night to ensure the safety of all residents of the West Bank. Any statement that impugns his considerations and his commitment to the security of Israel's citizens has no merit and deserves all condemnation."
National Unity leader Benny Gantz also wrote on Twitter, writing that "There has never been a coalition whose members have harmed the IDF like the current one… who were so blind to security considerations.
“General Yehuda Fuchs is a warrior… who has been protecting the citizens of Israel for decades… night and day to protect the residents of Judea and Samaria.”
He concluded that “the time has come for the prime minister to back up the IDF with actions before the words of incitement take a heavy toll on us.”
Boaron argued that Fuchs tries to make policy recommendations unfavorable to Israelis and said that these recommendations harm attempts at making fighting terror a top priority.
Boaron added to his comments after the fact, stating that IDF generals are not immune to criticism, saying, “I apologize that Fuchs and others interpreted criticism as a personal attack, even when the criticism is said with respect.”
He was backed up by Otzma Yehudit lawmaker Limor Son Har-Melech, who said on Wednesday on Kol Berama radio, “I unequivocally back the commend by Boaron.” She also pointed her finger at Gallant, saying that “he knowingly endangers the lives of the residents of Judea and Samaria,” and ostensibly calling for his removal. “I would prefer a different defense minister,” she said.
MK Yitzhak Kreuzer, who is also a member of Otzma Yehudit, sought to distance himself from Son Har-Melech, saying on Army Radio that “This is not the way. We must protect the dignity of those who give their lives.”
Maj.-Gen. Fuchs has served in the army for more than 35 years, initially serving as a paratrooper before working his way up to become the military attaché to the United States. Since 2021 he has led the Central Command, one of four regional commands of the army. They are responsible for protecting Judea and Samaria and preventing terror attacks in the region.