The IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, held a debriefing today in concern to incidents of violation of human dignity, which occurred at an engineering battalion, subordinate to the Southern Command. The Chief of Staff’s Inquiry was conducted following complaints of violations to fresh soldiers’ dignity in the context of “initiation rites for acceptance into a senior company”, and following a previous inquiry by GOC Southern Command. The Chief of Staff remarked to the participants of the debriefing – The GOC Southern Command, The Division Commander, Chief Engineering Officer and the commander of the battalion, that he views the incident with great severity, especially in light of the special emphasis placed by him on the issue of protecting human dignity.
In light of the severity of these incidents, the Chief of Staff has decided as follows:
1. To accept the recommendation of the GOC Southern Command and remove the battalion commander from his position immediately.
2. To disband the company. In addition, every soldier and commander in the company involved in the incident will cease to function as commanders or soldiers in combat positions and will be reassigned to serve in administrative positions.
These steps come in addition to the discharge of the company commander from the IDF, and the court-martial of all company commanders and soldiers directly involved in the incident before the division commander. Sentences included the imprisonment of soldiers.
The Chief of Staff directed the attention of the division commander and the Chief Engineering Officer to the severity of the incidents which occurred in the battalion.
The Chief of Staff instructed that the details of the incident be presented before all IDF commanders during special conventions that will be devoted to the matter.
The Chief of Staff is determined to continue acting decisively against the violation of human dignity in the IDF. In every unit where similar cases are discovered, severe command measures will be taken to uproot the phenomena.