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July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
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IDF Chief: No Intention to Change Rules of Engagement in Judea and Samaria

One soldier quoted his superior officer as saying: "I prefer to visit you in hospital than in court."
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz attending a Knesset Committee session.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz attending a Knesset Committee session.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/Flash90

Following reports in the Israeli press on IDF reserve and enlisted soldiers complaining about their humiliating experiences during countless incidents of being hit, pelted with rocks and firebombed and being unable to react on account of the IDF rules of engagement, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Ganz on Tuesday said “there is no intention of changing the rules of engagement.” This despite the fact that so many soldiers have testified that their lives are in danger during those incidents, and that often their only realistic option is to hide or flee.

One soldier quoted his superior officer as saying: “I prefer to visit you in hospital than in court.” (Read: IDF Latest Response to Arab Riots: ‘Nerf’ Bullets).

The chief of staff said that he and the defense minister give their full support to Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon, who is considered by many Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria as the core of the problem, because of his leftist views.

Lt.-Gen. Ganz said: “If we loosen the reins, there will be an escalation in Judea and Samaria and we will lose control. We have to improve the manner by which we train soldiers to act according to the existing rules.”

I’ll cite here once more the IDF Spokesperson’s Office’s explanation of the apparent conflicts and outright suffering and humiliation, not to speak of life endangerment, faced by soldiers trying to do their jobs facing violent Arab demonstrators. The response reads like something written by a team of legal and psychological experts:

“The IDF forces in Judea and Samaria are challenged daily by a complex reality requiring professionalism and determination together with judgment. The rules of engagement in Judea and Samaria facilitate an appropriate range of responses to a wide variety of threats faced by IDF forces and they are tested occasionally according to evaluations. It must be stressed that taking immediate action against violators of the public order and popular terror activists does not negate determined and effective action, and at its root lies the understanding that as small a number of injured as possible would help guard the security stability in the region.”

In this reporter’s view, the extra training required to better train IDF soldiers to comply with the above might as well include three years of law school.

The chief of staff was responding to complaints from right wing MKs on the Foreign and Defense Committee, about what is emerging as a third intifada in Judea and Samaria, engineered by the Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority.

“I don’t like the signs against Gen. Nitzan Alon,” Ganz added.

So now it’s mutual.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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12 Responses to “IDF Chief: No Intention to Change Rules of Engagement in Judea and Samaria”

  1. Left wing politics play a major role in the IDF rules of engagement (all over) that endangers lives of ALL JEWS!
    Leave Netanyahu alone; he is an <inept> leader who needs to be showered with praise for the sole idea of where his predecessors – Peres, Beilin, Ehud Olmert – failed miserably. The people of Israel must be armed like the US citizens and be able to defend themselves by shooting back at the stone throwers because stones do KILL! shoot back to stop these miscreants.
    Arabs, by nature, respect <BRUTE FORCE> and cajoling behavior is a sign of weakness.
    Stop extending a hand for peace to the Arabs, join Naftali Bennett and incorporate Yehuda and Shomron NOW!

  2. Left wing politics play a major role in the IDF rules of engagement (all over) that endangers lives of ALL JEWS!
    Leave Netanyahu alone; he is an <inept> leader who needs to be showered with praise for the sole idea of where his predecessors – Peres, Beilin, Ehud Olmert – failed miserably. The people of Israel must be armed like the US citizens and be able to defend themselves by shooting back at the stone throwers because stones do KILL! shoot back to stop these miscreants.
    Arabs, by nature, respect <BRUTE FORCE> and cajoling behavior is a sign of weakness.
    Stop extending a hand for peace to the Arabs, join Naftali Bennett and incorporate Yehuda and Shomron NOW!

  3. This is INTIFADA, not just violence; think, if Peres would tell the world what the PA/abbas really is, not the lies he told recently in Jordan, Netanyahu would have the justification and be able to "explain" to the US/EU the IDF actions to put this intifada down NOW. The purpose of this petition: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/petition-against-terror-on-the-roads/ is so Bibi can tell all of Israel's haters (US/EU/UN): my people are sick of the violence and I have to deal with it as you would.

  4. Sandra Brodsky, Peace not war! Stop throwing Stones.

  5. Benny Ganz should replace an IDF. soldier for a day or two in Yehudah and Shomron and may be he will get hit with a rock or two and then I wonder if he keep the same rules of engagement.

  6. Dvorah Bee says:

    Yes I could not agree more.
    As a mother of a lone soldier soldier who signed up of her own volition to serve and defend in a combat unit on one of Israel's borders, I am sickened by the negligent attitude of Benny Ganz. He is risking lives of precious Jewish children by trying to suppress the war through non action on their part, by their being sitting ducks. Does Ganz truly think that if IDF don't respond to the Arab murderous aggressions, the goal to kill us and spread us to the four corners will magically stop?

  7. Dvorah Bee says:

    Yes I could not agree more.
    As a mother of a lone soldier soldier who signed up of her own volition to serve and defend in a combat unit on one of Israel's borders, I am sickened by the negligent attitude of Benny Ganz. He is risking lives of precious Jewish children by trying to suppress the war through non action on their part, by their being sitting ducks. Does Ganz truly think that if IDF don't respond to the Arab murderous aggressions, the goal to kill us and spread us to the four corners will magically stop?

  8. Dvorah Bee says:

    I had relatives there– Eddie RIchards

  9. Dvorah Bee says:

    I had relatives there– Eddie RIchards

  10. Dvorah Bee says:

    :)

  11. Dvorah Bee says:

    :)

  12. Dvorah Bee says:

    Lt.-Gen. Ganz said: “If we loosen the reins, there will be an escalation in Judea and Samaria and we will lose control. We have to improve the manner by which we train soldiers to act according to the existing rules.”.
    What he is finally waking up to the fact that Israel is in a war, the arabs have waged and escalated, and our response is restraint? Has he been paid off or is he gone soft left in the brain, and is afraid himself.

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