Major General Nitzan Alon (Hebrew: ניצן אלון; born 1964) is a general in the Israel Defense Forces. In December 2011, he was named GOC Central Command and became Head of Central Command in early 2012. He has a combined BSc in Physics and Material Engineering from the Technion in Haifa.
Between 1984 and 1998, Alon was assigned to various positions in the IDF elite General Staff Reconnaissance Unit Sayeret Matkal, being appointed its commander in 1998. While commanding Sayeret Matkal, he was awarded the Chief of Staff Citation for a covert mission he commanded. In 2001, he began working as a research associate in Washington, D.C.. In 2003, he was appointed as commander of the IDF 551st Brigade Hitzey HaEsh (Fire Arrows) and in 2005 as commander of the Etzyon Regional Brigade in the IDF Central Command. In 2007, he was appointed as Head of the Israel Defense Intelligence Operations Division.
From 2009 until October 2011, he served as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division. In 2012, he became the new head of the central command. The appointment was criticized by right wing organisations and political figures, including representatives of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank. A spokesperson for the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council stated that Alon′s appointment to head the IDF′s Central Command "represents a certain aspect of 'price tag' on the part of the defense minister", but gave Alon credit for being "intelligent, wise and courageous", according to Arutz Sheva.
During his term as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Alon was harshly criticized by the Jewish settlers in the West Bank who claim that he is "stacked against the settler movement". In July 2011, settlers attacked his military jeep at Tapuah Junction, and protested outside his home, harassing him and his family. The Jerusalem Post called him "the most radical, politically insubordinate officer to have held the position in recent memory", claiming that he "went out of his way to demonize and attack Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, [claiming] without evidence continuously ... that acts of vandalism against Arab property in Judea and Samaria and inside of the 1949 armistice lines is the work of Jewish residents of the areas".
At the end of his term as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Alon stated: "Even today an extremist minority, small in number but not in influence, could bring about a major escalation via acts that are dubbed 'price tag', but amount to terrorism. [These acts] should not just be condemned for their inherent injustice and stupidity; they must be stopped, and their perpetrators arrested, more effectively than we have succeeded in doing thus far". In an editorial, the Israeli daily Haaretz called his stance "supremely statesmanlike", and the proof "that not only is he a brave and decorated soldier, but he is also a man of conscience, who fears for the future of his society".
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- Shoval, Lilach & Forsher, Efrat (16 December 2011). "In signal to extremists, Alon appointed GOC Central Command". Israel Hayom. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Ronen, Gil (7 October 2009). "Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon Named Judea and Samaria Commander". Arutz7. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Zitun, Yoav (16 December 2011). "Nitzan Alon named new GOC Central Command". Ynet. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Nitzan Alon to Head Central Command". Arutz7. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Judean Residents: Alon Appointment a Provocation". Arutz7. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Binyamin Leader: Alon Appointment Barak's 'Price Tag'". Arutz7. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Issacharoff, Avi & Harel, Amos (16 December 2011). "Next time, Jewish extremists will meet a different IDF". Haaretz. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "Right-wing activists attack West Bank division commander". The Jerusalem Post. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Katz, Yaakov (14 July 2011). "Barak seeks to end protests against W. Bank commander". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- Glick, Caroline B. (26 December 2011). "Our World: Netanyahu's misleading lessons in governance". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- "In praise of Nitzan Alon". Haaretz. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.