Kohavi expresses his concerns over Netanyahu’s planned changes to Israel army

Middle East Monitor  /  December 28, 2022

Outgoing Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Aviv Kohavi, expressed grave concerns to Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu about his planned policy changes to the army, local media revealed yesterday.

Kohavi passed his concerns to Netanyahu over the legislation aimed at the army and the harm it could inflict on it. In particular he highlighted the appointment of far-right Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir to take control of the West Bank Border Police as part of his promised expanded role as minister in charge of police.

According to Israeli TV Channel 12 news, Kohavi said: “The agreed-upon changes break the chain of command and undermine the sovereignty of the general of the Central Command General and the responsibility of the IDF in [the West Bank].”

Speaking to The Times of Israel, a military spokesperson said: “During the conversation, it was agreed upon that decisions related to the IDF will be made only after the IDF presents the consequences and significance of such decisions.”

Netanyahu has agreed to form a government with far-right Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit, Noam, Shas and United Torah Judaism, which together won 64 seats in the 120-seat Knesset in November’s election.

Under the terms of draft coalition agreements, far-right ministers will hold sensitive positions governing Palestinian affairs.