After several Knesset members in the coalition attacked IDF's Central Commander Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs for favoring Palestinians over Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to his defense on Wednesday.
Coalition Knesset members, primarily supporters of the Jewish settler movement, attacked Fuchs following the terror attack in Ma’ale Adumim on Tuesday, in which six Israelis were injured in a mall shooting incident.
The shooter, 20-year-old Muhannad al-Mazara'a, came from the Palestinian city of al-Azariyah, located adjacent to Ma’ale Adumim.
Following the attack, Knesset Member Avichai Buaron of the Likud party accused Fuchs of prioritizing Palestinian interests over the security of the Israeli public.
“Allowing freedom of movement for Palestinians is more important than protecting Israelis,” Buaron said.
Knesset Member Limor Son Har-Melech supported Buaron’s comments and called for the removal of Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as well.
“I unequivocally back the comments by MK Avichay Buaron,” Son Har-Melech of the far-right Jewish Power party said on Israel's Kol Berama radio.
“There is a consistent concern for the welfare of Palestinian residents of Judea and Samaria – and against Jewish residents,” she said Limor.
“The time has come for a defense minister that cares for the right,” Son Har-Melech continued.
“He knowingly endangers the lives of Judea and Samaria residents,” she claimed. “I would prefer a different defense minister who will care for the settlers.”
On Wednesday, Netanyahu responded to those statements.
“The denigration of Maj. Gen. Fuchs is unacceptable and unworthy,” the premier said. “Fuchs is an excellent and admired officer who works tirelessly to defend all the citizens of Israel.”
Netanyahu’s response was issued more than 24 hours after Buaron’s attack on Fuchs.
Gallant responded soon after Buaron’s comments, defending Fuchs.
“The commander of Central Command, Major General Yehuda Fuchs, is a professional and privileged officer. Gen. Fuchs dedicates his life to defending the people of Israel – strongly condemning baseless attacks on it by irresponsible political elements. Any attack on IDF officers by public figures undermines Israel's security.”
Reports in Hebrew media said that Gallant also personally called Fuchs to encourage him.
Buaron said his remarks were meant as a criticism, not a personal attack.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office also released a statement condemning Buaron’s remarks.
“Any statement that casts doubt on the general's considerations and his commitment to the security of the citizens of Israel is worthy of all condemnation and has no foundation.”
Fellow Jewish Power Knesset Member Yitzhak Kroizer also rejected Son Har-Melech’s comments.
“That is not the way. We must preserve the dignity of those who give their lives,” he said on Army Radio.
The Shin Bet security agency confirmed the Palestinian shooter in the mall incident had a clean record with no indications of extremism.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.