In his last interview before he announced his resignation, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon spoke out against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and criticized how he handled the Hebron shooting affair.


Ya’alon Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel (Flash 90)/Channel 2 News

Three days before he announced his resignation from the government and Knesset (Tuesday), Ya’alon gave an interview to Arik Ziv of the Likudnik website, which is affiliated with the ruling party, and spoke about the Hebron shooting affair, his relationship with Netanyahu and the evacuation of Jewish settlers from two homes in Hebron.

Ya’alon began the interview with the Hebron shooting affair and said that in the beginning, Netanyahu agreed with him that the affair needed to be handled by the Military Advocate General. “This was a moral and politically important decision,” stated Ya’alon. “And then, when he noticed the public mood, he changed his mind. As the minister in charge [of defense], I had to back the IDF Chief of Staff. Netanyahu abandoned the IDF Chief of Staff.”

Ya’alon also criticized Avigdor Lieberman and Naftali Bennett, even before the reports of Lieberman’s expected appointment. According to Ya’alon, Lieberman and Bennett conducted a smear campaign against him throughout the affair. Ya’alon also claimed that Lieberman was personally involved in the soldier’s story, after Sharon Gal, a former member of Lieberman’s party, became the PR manager of the soldier’s family. “Netanyahu abandoned the IDF Chief of Staff and me when Sharon Gal connected him to the family through a phone conversation,” claimed Ya’alon. “I have principles. Not everything is politics [for me].”

Regarding the removal of dozens of Jewish settlers from two homes in Hebron, Ya’alon said “I couldn’t allow them to take over the buildings. I’m telling you, the details of how they operated will be revealed. There was illegal conduct in this affair.”