(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
The Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, reprimanded Brigadier General Yair Golan, for the use of the “Preliminary Warning” procedure, contrary to his orders. The reprimand was given as the result of a Military Police investigation into the matter. The Military Police investigated Brig. Gen. Golan’s use of the procedure in several incidents, contrary to orders, and without notifying his commanders.
"Preliminary warning" is an operational procedure used during an arrest operation in which forces use a local resident to warn the residents of a house that an arrest is imminent. The use of the procedure is meant to enable uninvolved civilians to leave the house and allow the suspects to turn themselves in, thus minimizing the risk of injury to civilians.
In light of the assessment of the Military Advocate General, Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit, and after hearing Brig. Gen. Golan, Lieutenant General Ashkenazi decided that Brig. Gen. Golan will not be promoted for a period of at least 9 months (beginning March 2007). Moreover, any future promotion will only be granted after consultation with the Military Advocate General.
Brig. Gen. Golan told Lieutenant General Ashkenazi that his actions, despite their illegitimacy, were meant to assist his soldiers in handling their missions, where they were faced with real operational difficulties. Furthermore, he stated that his intentions were meant to avoid the loss of human life.
The Military Advocate General noted in a written opinion, submitted to the Chief of General Staff, that it is the duty of a commander in the IDF to operate at all times in accordance with the law and with the orders given by his commanders. Nevertheless, the Military Advocate General appreciated the fact that Brig. Gen. Golan’s decisions reduced the risk to the local population and its property and prevented the loss of human lives. The Military Advocate General also noted the fact that Brig. Gen. Golan had given the order in only a small number of cases, relative to the many arrests that were conducted during that period.
After considering the different aspects of Brig. Gen. Golan’s actions, Brig. Gen. Mandelblit decided that while Brig. Gen. Golan’s actions were indeed severe, in essence, they indicate a professional-command failure. He therefore concluded that a disciplinary measure was sufficient, with no need for criminal charges.
During the investigation, Brig. Gen. Golan took full responsibility for his actions.
The Chief of Staff emphasized that IDF commanders, at all levels, are required to act in full accordance with the law and with the orders given by their commanders.