IDF radio correspondent suspended after blaming terror on right-wing lawmaker

Galei Tzahal reporter Hadas Shtaif suspended after suggesting that Ben-Gvir’s demand to be appointed Public Security Minister was linked to twin bombing attacks in Jerusalem.

By World Israel News Staff

A veteran journalist for Israel’s army radio was suspended from reporting on Wednesday morning’s double terror bombings in Jerusalem after she suggested that the likely appointment of a right-wing lawmaker as Public Security Minister was somehow to blame for the attacks.

Hadas Shtaif, a correspondent for Galei Tzahal, claimed on the air Wednesday morning that Otzma Yehudit faction chief MK Itamar Ben-Gvir’s demand in coalition talks with the Likud that he be appointed Public Security Ministry was “impossible to separate” from the terrorist bombings in the capital.

“It is impossible to separate the event from the coalition negotiations and the desire to appoint a certain person to the position of managing a certain ministry.”

Shortly afterwards, Ben-Gvir visited the scene of one of the bombing attacks, prompting Shtaif to harangue the lawmaker via Twitter.

“We started this morning with two terror attacks in Jerusalem. It seems that bombing attacks are making a comeback, along with knives, stones, and shootings. An escalation. And the forecast? A cascade of terror attacks.”

“And the Public Security Minister-designate… this is your declaration this morning?” Shtaif continued, referencing Ben-Gvir’s vow to continue visiting the Temple Mount even after he is appointed minister.

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“It is the police officers and Border Police soldiers who will be harmed.”

Following her comments, Shtaif was suspended from reporting further on the bombing attacks on Jerusalem, but she emphasized on Twitter that she has not been suspended as a reporter on Galei Tzahal.

“I have been suspended from broadcasting the attack until further notice… All my haters will have a party. Don’t forget to invite me too,” Shtaif tweeted.

A spokesperson for Galei Tzahal said Shtaif’s coverage is now under investigation.

“Hadas Shtaif’s report which was broadcast this morning is under investigation by Galai Tzahal. The reporter has been asked not to report on the attack until the end of the investigation.”

Ben-Gvir excoriated Shtaif, urging army radio to permanently suspend her broadcasts.

“Hadas Shtaif used her platform at Galai Tzahal to back terrorism, to incite against me and even to make a false report.”

“I hope that her suspension will not be temporary. I am the first to fight for the freedom of expression of journalists, but those who encourage terrorists to carry out attacks and look for justifications for them should not be allowed to broadcast on Galai Tzahal.”

Canadian national Aryeh Schupak, a 16-year-old yeshiva student who was studying at the Beit Meir Yeshiva, was killed when a bomb exploded at a bus stop in western Jerusalem.

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Shortly afterwards, a second bomb exploded at a bus stop in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Nineteen people were injured in the twin bombings Wednesday morning, including one listed in critical condition and two victims in serious condition.