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Defense heads deny reports of public disclosure of IDF security concerns

News report Sunday morning claimed defense heads would issue public statements

Shin Bet head Ronen Bar and Mossad chief David Barnea at a state memorial ceremony for fallen Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, April 25, 2023. (Photo: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Mossad Chief David Barnea explicitly denied reports this morning that the heads of Israel's defense establishment - the Israel Defense Forces, security and intelligence agencies - would each release a public statement about the military's readiness for war due to reservists' boycotts and ongoing protests.

The Mossad released a rare public statement later on Sunday morning.

“The report on coordination between the security services regarding an impairment of military readiness is incorrect and does not reflect the position of the Director of the Mossad, which he expresses in security forums and to the political leadership, and not in the media.”

The head of Shin Bet, Israeli Security Agency (ISA) also released a statement affirming that he reports only to the proper officials.

The report from N12 news also stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to give security updates during cabinet meetings over fears that details would be leaked to the public.

Many have interpreted the lack of security briefings as proof that Netanyahu is concealing something.

However, on the day the Knesset voted for the Reasonableness Standard Law in July, the cabinet declined to hear a security update from the IDF prior to the vote. 

“As part of the efforts of senior defense officials to curb the escalating damage to the army's competence, the chief of staff, the head of the Mossad and the head of the Shin Bet are considering going out to the public and presenting the situation to the general public themselves,” according to the report.

The statement also claimed that Netanyahu had refused a request from several ministers to hear a security briefing, claiming that “Netanyahu does not trust the cabinet.”

On Sunday, Netanyahu postponed a trip with his wife Sarah to Moshav Ramot in Israel's north, instead summoning IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi to update him on developments and steps taken by the military to reduce the impact of the protest on the military and to discuss recent regional developments. 

Israeli Air Force commander Maj.-Gen. Tomer Bar reportedly told reservists last week that the IAF is "suffering a deepening injury."

The former heads of Mossad, Shin Bet and former IDF chiefs of staff released statements condemning the coalition’s push for judicial reforms despite significant public outcry.

Opposition to the coalition's judicial overhaul claim that the reforms could potentially expose IDF soldiers and Defense forces to investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it feels that Israel’s Supreme Court is not independent.

Oded Savoray, one of the attorneys representing reserve officers, said, “The prime minister has never before been too busy to meet with the Chief of Staff.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told a group of new recruits on Sunday morning that the judicial reforms have not harmed the IDF’s recruitments.

“From all the data I have seen, I am happy that the current social friction has not had an effect on the recruitment process. When it comes to the real mission, everyone understands the value of recruitment,” Gallant said.

“I will never allow any harm to the IDF, from any side," the defense minister added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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