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IDF's biggest threat today is internal, warns chief of staff

In a rare appearance before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot criticized politicians for acting against the Israeli military, using it for their own political agendas and eroding the public's trust.
Israel's Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot speaks at the annual Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference in Tel Aviv January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner - RTX22X9B
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Any appearance by the chief of staff before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee routinely produces headlines about some security threat or other facing Israel. It could be anything from Iran to Hezbollah, Hamas or Syria. That is not what happened July 26, however, when Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot appeared before the committee.

Eizenkot devoted most of his briefing to a very different kind of problem. He spoke about how the Israel Defense Forces were under attack by public figures, arguing that the public’s loss of trust in the IDF is now the greatest threat faced by the military. He was speaking about politicians’ involvement in the trial of Elor Azaria, the soldier who shot a neutralized Palestinian attacker in Hebron on March 24 and is now accused of manslaughter.

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