A Labor party lawmaker has been suspended from membership in subcommittees of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for leaking classified information.
MK Omer Bar-Lev, who at one time commanded the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was accused of handing a copy of a letter he sent to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to one of the media outlets.
In his letter Bar-Lev allegedly claimed to have found a discrepancy between an IDF training budget report filed by a senior IDF officer last February and figures presented recently by Ya’alon describing the army’s fiscal needs.
In a statement to journalists Monday evening, Bar-Lev denied the suspension due to his leaking classified information and instead focused on the discrepancy he said he found among the defense establishment’s budget figures.
“As far as we are concerned, the main issue is that the conflicting reports of senior IDF officers to the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee must be looked into and not a minor offense over some procedure that does breach security,” the statement said.
Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) told Bar-Lev the budget reports would be examined closely, according to the statement. It was Elkin who had informed Bar-Lev of the suspension, which extends throughout the summer session.Hana Levi Julian