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Ex-defence minister warns of 'political murder' in Israel

Image of former Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon [Marc Müller/Wikipedia]
Former Israeli Minister Moshe Yaalon, 6 April 2017 [Marc Müller/Wikipedia]

Former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon yesterday warned of "political murder" that could happen at any moment in Israel, blaming "divisive and inciting" Israeli leadership, Ynet News reported.

In an interview with the Israeli news outlet on the memorial day of the later Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's murder, Ya'alon said that the incitement made by Israeli leaders against each other is seen on social media.

"There is incitement," he said, "you can see it on social media. It is absolutely clear political murder could happen at any moment in light of the ongoing incitement. One of our problems is that we still can't heal the wound from Rabin's murder."

Rabin "took responsibility" for things that had gone wrong under his leadership, Ya'alon said.

He accused the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of mounting "an attack on everything that is supposed to constitute the checks and balances in a democracy." He referred to Likud's attempt to control the Israeli media.

READ: Netanyahu accuses Israeli left, media of trying to oust him

"A minister said: 'the government should control the media,' while one Likud MK did one better and said 'the Likud needs to control the media,'" he elaborated.

During the interview, Ya'alon attacked Netanyahu and called on him to resign. "I did not think Netanyahu would choose greed over security interests until it all blew up right in front of me in the submarine affair."

He added: "In February 2016, I blocked the deal as the defence minister, because I had suspicions. Since then, I have learned everything I did not know before: That David Shimron was involved, that David Sharan was arrested, Avriel Bar-Yosef's involvement. I couldn't defend Netanyahu anymore. Choosing greed over state security? No way."

"There is not just smoke, there is fire. Anyone with a pair of eyes should understand there is a serious problem here, which threatens the foundations of democracy in the State of Israel."

Meanwhile, Ynet reported Ya'alon criticising the public row between the Minister of Defence Avigdor Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett after the latter slammed what he saw as an apology from the spokesman of the Israeli army for an Israeli attack on a Palestine tunnel on the eastern borders of southern Gaza Strip earlier this week.

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He said: "Playing politics with security matters, particularly at the expense of the IDF, is absolutely reprehensible… It has become a kind of a trend: to gather votes or bolster oneself politically with all kinds of slogans at the IDF's expense."

At the same time, he blamed the Israeli government's criticism of the Palestinian reconciliation. "Did we really need to interfere in this reconciliation, which is going to fail? We should watch from the sidelines, protect our interests and not become involved, so we will not be blamed later," Ya'alon said.

He then stressed that there is no chance for a true reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. "At the end of the day, I do not see this reconciliation agreement leading to Hamas' disarmament, with Hamas willingly giving up its weapons. So it is obvious it is going to fail."

READ: Most Israelis believe Netanyahu guilty of corruption

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