Posters mocking IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot demanding his resignation have appeared in numerous areas across central Tel Aviv, provoking cries of incitement by a number of political figures Saturday evening. The posters showing Eizenkot dressed as biblical king Ahasuerus, state that: "Jewish blood will not be spilled in vain. The next time a [terrorist] comes to kill, kill him first."Ahasuerus is a central figure underlining the Jewish holiday of Purim, which was celebrated this past weekend.The posters are believed to stem out of a controversial event in which an IDF soldier apparently shot and killed a "neutralized" Palestinian terrorist in Hebron Thursday afternoon.The images also state in large red print: "Fire Eizenkot and take Bibi and Bogie with you.""Bibi" refers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's nickname, while the later refers to Defense Minister Moshe "Bogie" Ya'alon.Police have opened an investigation into the matter and are currently searching for suspects. In response to the attacks on Eizenkot, opposition head and Zionist Union chairmen MK Isaac Herzog said that it was time to "stop throwing muck" at the head of the IDF. "Calls for Eizenkot's resignation on posters and inflammatory slogans are rude and distasteful and serves as an attack only on ourselves" Herzog added. Minister of the Interior and head of the religious Shas faction in the Knesset, Aryeh Deri, also commented on the attacks levied against the IDF leader."Eizenkot is an excellent chief of staff. He is honest and responsible. Incitement against him deserves condemnation."Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also wrote a statement in defense of the IDF on his Facebook page later Saturday evening.“The IDF is a moral army that does not execute people,” Netanyahu wrote.“IDF soldiers have absorbed with their bodies the murderous terror attacks against Israeli citizens and deserve support,” Netanyahu said.With regard to Thursday’s incident, he said, “I trust the IDF will conduct a thorough, responsible and fair investigation, as it does always.”
Earlier on Saturday, the family of the combat soldier accused of murdering the Palestinian terror suspect held an unprecedented televised press conference outside their Ramla home.The sister of Elior Azaria read aloud a short statement saying that the military and political system had failed her brother. "You send a child to protect the people of Israel, and then condemn him when something terrible happens," she said.She continued by stating: "Think what will happen tomorrow when a soldier is confronted by a [terrorist] wanting to cause harm. Today it is my brother, tomorrow it might be a new recruit" to the IDF. While giving the statement, she and the Azaria family refused to have their images captured and had their backs to television cameras.