Samaria Regional Council leader Yossi Dagan has accused the Israel Defense Forces’ Hebrew-language spokesman of transforming the military’s Spokesperson’s Unit into an “extreme leftist” political faction.

“Ran Kochav has turned the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit into an extreme leftist party. The unit needs to be closed and reopened anew,” said Dagan in a press release, adding: “The situation in which soldiers in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit feel free to express views suitable to the extreme left proves that this is the spirit of the IDF spokesperson.”

The comments came after an aide to Likud Party lawmaker Nir Barkat uncovered and disseminated the personal tweets of several soldiers in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit that criticized “the occupation” and Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.

In one of the tweets, a picture of an armed Dagan kneeling behind a vehicle during a recent Palestinian terrorist attack is captioned: “This is why we must leave the territories” of Judea and Samaria.

In response, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid offered his “full backing” to Kochav “in the face of the disgraceful attempt to drag him into political controversy.

“This is part of a dangerous attempt to threaten the IDF and subject it to narrow political interests,” Lapid said.

The IDF said on Monday that the soldiers who posted the tweets would be disciplined.

JNS

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