Netanyahu delays vacation, meets military chief for security consultations

Prime minister delays vacation by one day to discuss IDF challenges amid opposition to the government's judicial legislation and public criticism of senior commanders made by members of the coalition; They agreed that 'political disputes should be left outside the IDF'

Attila Somfalvi, Itamar Eichner, Moran Azulay, Yair Kraus |
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, summoned IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi for a meeting in Tel Aviv, amid reports of the military's preparedness being compromised as a result of the growing opposition to the government's legislative push to overhaul the judicial system.
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Halevi presented his multi-year plan for the IDF that, according to reports, places equal importance on the crisis that has infiltrated the ranks and compromised the military as is placed on preparations for all-out war.
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הרצי הלוי, בינימין נתניהו
הרצי הלוי, בינימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi amid reports the military's preparedness is compromised
(Photo: Shalev Shalom, Yoav Dudkevitch )
During the meeting, Halevi, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and unnamed IDF generals "presented the prime minister with a picture of the situation regarding the competence and cohesion in the IDF and discussed actions being taken in the field," according to a statement from Netanyahu's office.
Netanyahu instructed them "to maintain the competence and readiness of the IDF in routine and emergency situations for any challenge." The prime minister, according to the statement, "completely rejects the phenomenon of conditional reserve service."
"All participants in the discussion agreed that political disputes should be left outside the IDF," the statement concluded.
Sources told Ynet that the IDF could hold training exercises using less qualified and substandard personnel but that would be no more than a show and that anything but an IDF at its most excellent would result in thousands of dead, destruction in major cities, and long-lasting economic losses in the billions.
Netanyahu delayed a planned vacation to the north, by one day, to meet with security officials, although his plans may have also been changed after protesters planned to disrupt his arrival at a resort on the Golan Heights and local farmers said they would resist any restrictions imposed on them that would interfere with their ability to reach their orchards.
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הפגנה נגד המהפכה המשפטית מול מקום חופשתם של בני הזוג נתניהו
הפגנה נגד המהפכה המשפטית מול מקום חופשתם של בני הזוג נתניהו
Protesters gather outside a Golan Heights resort where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was staying
(Photo: Efi Sharir )
Security forces were already deployed to the Golan Heights ahead of the arrival of the prime minister and his wife, setting up barriers to hold back the protesters. They claimed the resort chosen for the couple's stay required less restriction on local residents than their earlier getaway last week, also on the Golan.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said earlier on Sunday that he would not tolerate any attack on the IDF from either side of the political divide when he met with new IDF recruits in the military's induction center outside Tel Aviv.
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יואב גלנט נואם בפני מתגייסים חדשים לחטיבות כפיר ונח"ל, בתל השומר
יואב גלנט נואם בפני מתגייסים חדשים לחטיבות כפיר ונח"ל, בתל השומר
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaking to new IDF recruits on Sunday
(Photo: Yariv Katz)
Members of Netanyahu's coalition, including ministers in his government had been speaking out against IDF commanders insinuating that their loyalty was not to the country's defense. Among those criticized were the head of the IDF central command responsible for the West Bank, and the Air Force chief.
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