5 soldiers from the Kfir Brigade are given 21 days’ detention for leaving their post near the Gaza Strip; the soldiers state they did so to protest the unit’s manpower shortage; IDF Spokesperson Unit insists soldiers ‘understood the severity of their actions.’

Five soldiers from the Kfir Brigade’s Haruv Battalion were sentenced to 21 days of on-base confinement after refusing an operational order at the Nahal Oz base, near the Gaza Strip.

The refusal took place two months ago over a shortage in manpower in their platoon.

Kfir Brigade soldiers (Photo: Amit Magal) (Photo: Amit Magal)
Kfir Brigade soldiers (Photo: Amit Magal) (Photo: Amit Magal)


At first, the battalion was willing to let the soldiers go with a reprimand, after their commanders convinced the soldiers to recant their refusal. However, Kfir Brigade Commander Col. Guy Hazot opted for a harsher punishment.

The Kfir Brigade viewed the soldiers’ behavior with the utmost seriousness, but decided not to sentence them to military prison, contrary to previous cases where soldiers had refused operational orders.

The soldiers themselves claimed a lack of morale in general and especially in the Gaza Strip, due to the heavy amount of operations compared to the available manpower and the “apathetic attitude” of their commanders.

“The fighter soldiers are sick of falling asleep during field patrols and almost never getting taken off standby. They acted out of responsibility for the zone, since the commanders didn’t care and officers were ignoring their soldiers,” one of the soldiers’ mothers told Ynet. Sources within the unit claimed that the fighter soldiers were being belittled, adding to their frustration.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit issued a statement on the matter, saying that “About ten weeks ago, several soldiers were asked to carry out a mission in the zone in which they were stationed. As a result of a number of the soldiers refusing to do so, they were called in by the battalion commander for clarification, and four of them were sentenced to detention for refusing an order.” The statement continued to say that IDF sources have stressed that the soldiers “understood the severity of their actions and the punishment they were given.”

As reported by Ynetnews