MK Yogev Apologizes for Curt Remark to Gaza-border Residents

Habayit Hayehudi member told area residents: 'You supported disengagement, deal with it.'

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MK Moti Yogev, during a Knesset subcommittee panel on the demographics of the West Bank.
MK Moti Yogev.Credit: Michal Fattal

Member of Knesset Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) on Tuesday apologized for telling Gaza Strip border residents, “You supported disengagement, deal with it.”

Yogev had been speaking with residents who had come to be heard during a debate in a subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The debate subject was the removal of Israel Defense Forces soldiers from the communities.

Yogev told Army Radio: “I think it was an unsuccessful remark on my part and I apologize for it,” adding, “no one deserves to have missiles falling on their head.”

The representatives of three communities close to the border fence with the Gaza Strip came to the Knesset on Tuesday to explain the difficulty that would arise from removing the soldiers.

They said that trust between the residents and the army had been lacking since last summer’s war in Gaza.

The representatives complained that no IDF personnel were present at the meeting; the Defense Ministry responded that the IDF had not been invited.

“We came out quite disappointed from the meeting because of the poor attendance of MKs, but mainly because there were no representatives from the army there,” Adi Hamawi of Kibbutz Nirim told Haaretz.

“That actually shows the lack of communication between us and the army, which we have been complaining about in recent months.”

Hamawi, a member of the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev, which had initiated the meeting, said that the delegation from the border communities had explained to the lawmakers that “our relationship with the army is a matter of life and death.”

MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) told the committee that the fact that no one from the IDF or the Defense Ministry was present at the meeting “expresses more than anything else disdain for the feelings of the residents.”

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