Addressing the video showing an IDF soldier shooting an apparently disarmed, wounded and supine Palestinian stabber in the head, Defense Minister Moshe Ya`alon (Likud) told the Knesset plenum on Monday ”what happened in Hebron was a severe incident. The bottom line of an initial investigation conducted on Thursday is that this is an anomalous incident of a soldier who transgressed and not of a hero. It was important that we – the IDF chief of staff, the defense minister and the prime minister – immediately express our views on this incident. We are not like the other side.”

Addressing the ”false information, manipulations” and attacks against IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who condemned the shooting in Hebron, Minister Ya`alon said, ”Do you want a brutish army with no moral backbone? He who [strayed from the straight and narrow] must be held accountable.”

Defense Minister Ya`alon at the Knesset plenum: ”Do you want a brutish army with no moral backbone?”

(Defense Minister Moshe Ya`alon. Archive photo: Itzik Harari)

Ya`alon told the MKs that ”later, we will check whether there is a connection between the harsh criticism online and all kinds of statements by politicians regarding the soldier, who took a decision to carry out an act that violates the law and our moral values.”

The defense minister also discussed the current wave of Palestinian terror. ”Over the past few months I`ve heard many `educated` lectures on how to fight terror,” he said. ”These lectures consist of many populist slogans, and they ignore reality, the facts and the achievements. I can say with confidence that our borders [have never been calmer]. All this does not stem from foolish advice, but from discretion and a responsible policy.”

Ya`alon told the plenum that the terror wave in Judea and Samaria stems, in part, from the security forces` success in thwarting severe suicide bombings. ”We have been on the offensive since [Operation] Defensive Shield; we carry out arrests; there is no need for planes,” he stated. ”Our success in thwarting [suicide attacks], together with the Palestinian incitement, affect the individual who decides to carry out an act. We provide a solution, if not a total one, to these individuals as well. We also punish the terrorists, most of whom do not come out alive. At the same time we allow those who are not involved in terror to live their lives with dignity and comfort. Therefore, the fiery slogans do not bring security, but the opposite.”

”All those who give the public the sense that they can solve the problem at a stroke are throwing sand in the eyes of the public, and, unfortunately, there are several political elements that are doing this,” Ya`alon said.