Bar-On did not name the culprits but made it clear most of them were Arab municipal heads. He said that in some cases officials made use of municipal security vehicles to make their escape.
After Knesset Member Talab el-Sana asked for details regarding the communities in question, Bar-On replied: "You want it according to an ethnic division? Let it go, why do you need this? I can tell you that in the vast majority of those authorities, in all my tours I didn't see even one synagogue."
The interior minister told Knesset member: "The government decided to start the operation on the night between Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday, the (ministry) director-general and I went up north…I discovered very serious flaws in certain towns, which I will not name in order to maintain their dignity."
"When I inquired as to where these flaws stem from, I was told that a large part of the town's management – both the elected political management but particularly the executive ranks – ran away, at the highest levels," Bar-On said.
"I did not mince words in order to express my dissatisfaction over this behavior, and some mayors told the media that instead of the interior minister nurturing and encouraging them…he reprimanded them because the municipality they lead is not functioning," the minister said.
Eitam: Arabs were not loyal to country
Bar-On concluded his remarks with an unequivocal statement: "I’m telling you in the clearest, most decisive manner, that the first and most decisive lesson of this war is that in places where we had a serious, responsible and functioning mayor and municipal management, there were no problems…while in places where municipal heads were weak, irresponsible and incompetent, everything collapsed and no assistance made a difference."
National Union-National Religious Party Chairman MK Effie Eitam also slammed the Arab local authority heads during the discussion, saying that "they are pretending to be deprived."
According to Eitam, "I don’t understand why my children have to serve in the army and die so that Arab local authority heads can pretend to be deprived. They were not loyal to the country during the war."