Gantz, Bennett spar over reveal of operation to find Ron Arad

Defense Minister furious at PM's decision to reveal operation to find information on fate of Ron Arad,

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bennett and Gantz
Bennett and Gantz
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The exposure of the operation to locate information about Ron Arad's fate led to a confrontation between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Michael Hauser Tov reported in Haaretz.

The two have had a difficult relationship that reached a low point this week, after Bennett revealed the operation without consulting Gantz beforehand.

Just minutes before the speech in the Knesset, Bennett informed Gantz that he intended to reveal the operation, and Gantz had no opportunity to dissuade Bennett from doing so.

Political sources said that Gantz was behind the presentation of the operation as a failure in the media - shortly after the operation was exposed by Bennett. A source close to the prime minister told the newspaper that "this was an abnormal thing." A senior official in the office of one of the coalition partners described the tension as "a major political event", adding: "We must calm things down there, and we are dealing with it."

A security source on Tuesday revealed additional details regarding the operation to locate Ron Arad.

Channel 12 News reported that according to the source, the Mossad did not oppose the prime minister's intention to reveal the existence of the operation - which brought quality intelligence that led the defense establishment to a specific path regarding the fate of Ron Arad.

The source also said that few knew that the prime minister was going to reveal the operation in his speech in the Knesset and that Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not one of them.

The source stated: "This is a large, unusual operation, which was unparalleled in several countries. The Shabak and the IDF were also partners in it. Thanks to the operation, high-quality intelligence was obtained that directs us to places we did not have before the operation. This will also allow future operations to be performed. It helps us figure out what happened to Ron Arad."

"The operation gave the State of Israel focus after several directions and positions were examined in the defense establishment regarding what happened to Ron Arad. The operation actually put the Mossad on a specific path. The head of the Mossad, Barnea, instructed when he took office to do everything, even at the cost of risking his life, to bring information about Ron Arad. This is a message of commitment to Ron Arad and the rest of the prisoners and missing persons," the source said.