search

Barlev again under fire for tweet on ‘fallen’ troops in raid where none were killed

Responding to latest PR debacle, public security minister insists post about IDF operation also referred to other security incidents over past week that did include casualties

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev at the funeral of Border Police officer Yezen Falah, who was killed in the terror attack in Hadera, at the cemetery in the village of Kisra-Sumei, on March 28, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev at the funeral of Border Police officer Yezen Falah, who was killed in the terror attack in Hadera, at the cemetery in the village of Kisra-Sumei, on March 28, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev came under fire once again on Saturday after writing that “his heart goes out to the families of the fallen” security forces, in a tweet about a West Bank raid on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell in which no Israeli officers were killed.

Barlev defended himself, saying that the post also referred to the other recent security incidents over the past two weeks, in which there had been casualties, and he had not deleted the tweet as of Sunday morning.

The public security minister’s recent troubles began on March 23 when, during a eulogy for one of the victims of the terror attack in Beersheba, he pledged that Israeli security forces would not rest until those responsible were caught and brought to justice, even though the terrorists were killed at the scene.

Barlev later said he had been asked to talk at the last moment and misspoke, having intended to say any accomplices would be brought to justice.

He then tried to make light of the gaffe in an unrelated tweet about a large number of illegal guns that had been seized on Lebanon’s border.

“We won’t rest until we’ve put the smugglers in jail and made them face justice,” he wrote, paraphrasing his earlier words — followed by a winking face emoji.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir confronting Interior Secuirty Minister Omer Barlev at the scene of the deadly terror attack in Hadera, March 28, 2022. (screenshot)

Intense criticism on Twitter and by media commentators for the apparently insensitive joke led Barlev to delete the post and replace it with one that left out the quip. He did not offer an explanation or apology.

Last Friday, Barlev fired his spokesman Natan Dublin, ostensibly blaming the aide for posting the tweet on his behalf.

On Sunday, extremist MK Itamar Ben Gvir accosted Barlev when he arrived at the scene of the terror attack in Hadera and police had to separate them after a verbal confrontation ensued.

Barlev is a member of the center-left Labor party and a former commander in the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit.

After Saturday’s predawn raid in Arraba, Barlev tweeted praise for the Border Police’s elite Yamam counter-terror unit that took out four Islamic Jihad suspects, and for the Shin Bet security service for providing the intelligence. He then noted that it was the third incident this week in which a police unit neutralized terrorists, before saying his heart “goes out to the families of the fallen” and wishing a full recovery to the wounded.

IDF soldiers operating near the West Bank city of Jenin, on March 31, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

Four Yamam officers were indeed wounded in the raid, one of them seriously.

Defending the tweet, Barlev said in a statement that the post “referenced the three incidents in which the Israel Police operated last week, in which 11 civilians and police officers were killed.”

“The sentence in the tweet regarding the families of the fallen referred to the Israeli civilians and the Border Police officers who were killed… in the terror attacks,” he added.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed