PM said to bar heads of Mossad and Shin Bet from a meeting with Gallant, IDF chief

In this handout photo, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (2nd left) meets with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi (right), Mossad chief David Barnea (left) and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar (2nd right) on November 29, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/ Defense Ministry/ File)
In this handout photo, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (2nd left) meets with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi (right), Mossad chief David Barnea (left) and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar (2nd right) on November 29, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/ Defense Ministry/ File)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Mossad chief David Barnea and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar from taking part in a meeting two days ago with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Channel 12 news reports.

According to the report, the four were slated to hold an urgent discussion on military operations in the Israel-Hamas war that would be sent to Netanyahu for approval, but the premier prevented Barnea and Bar from participating.

In response, Netanyahu’s office denies he’s “limiting” Barnea, who it says can attend any meeting that doesn’t conflict with his schedule.

“The cabinet for managing the war is the forum that will chart and determine policy regarding the hostages and the missing, with no exception,” the Prime Minister’s Office.

But the network, which doesn’t cite a source, is adamant that the scheduled meeting was meant to deal with operational matters and not hostages, while noting the response from Netanyahu’s office omits Bar and only mentions Barnea.

The report comes days after Channel 12 said Netanyahu has been preventing Gallant from meeting with Barnea to discuss efforts to secure the release of the hostages remaining in Gaza if he’s not also present.

While Netanyahu cannot prevent Gallant from meeting with senior military and security officials, both the Mossad and Shin Bet are under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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