Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel (Derech Eretz) and Culture and Sports Minister Yehiel Tropper (Blue and White) were informed recently that as government ministers, they are prohibited from serving in the Israel Defense Forces reserves. Their highly classified unit operates behind enemy lines, and the risk that an Israeli minister could fall into enemy hands was deemed too great.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement: “The head of the IDF Personnel Directorate [Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz] spoke with Minister Yoaz Hendel last week and informed him that … in light of his position as a government minister, he will not be summoned at this time to reserve duty. The minister expressed a desire to continue serving in any format that would allow him to continue to do so, and his request is being examined.”

Hendel, an IDF lieutenant colonel, commands the unit. He began his army service in the naval commandos, Shayetet 13, and later served in additional security agencies following his military service. Tropper served as an officer in the counter-terrorist unit Duvdevan.

“Reserve duty is a great privilege,” said Hendel. “In my view, it is the essence of Israeliness. In uniform, there’s no difference between right and left, religious or secular, rich or poor. I hope my request to continue serving in the reserves will be approved by the IDF.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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