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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Golani Brigade’

Senior IDF Officer Indicted for Sexual Misconduct

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The military prosecutor on Thursday submitted to a special military court indictments against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris, on several counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault and misconduct against two female soldiers who served under his command during his tenure as Golani Brigade Commander.

Buchris, 48, a religious Orthodox Jew, graduated from Midrashiat Noam and the pre-military academy of Ateret Kohanim yeshiva. He is married, the father of six children, and lives in Mitzpe Netofa in the Lower Galilee.

In late 2015 the military was about to appoint him Head of the Operations Division, a senior position in the IDF command. Then, in February 2016, deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan suspended Buchris following a complaint by one of his female subordinates in Golani. The Military Police investigations unit launched an investigation of accusations of rape against him. Buchris denied all the accusations from the start, but on March 10 the new chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot revoked his high command appointment, since the investigation was dragging on and the army needed to fill the post.

An announcement from the IDF Spokesperson’s office described Buchris as “an officer and a warrior with a stellar record; the Judge Advocate General said that he made his decision with a heavy heart. Still, during the thorough investigation some alleged evidence surfaced to the fact that the officer carried out several serious sexual offenses against a junior enlisted female soldier and against a female officer, while the two were serving under his command as Golani Brigade Commander. Therefore the Judge Advocate General decided to indict him.”

Buchris and his military defenders issued a statement saying, “We regret the decision of the Judge Advocate General and think it is fundamentally erroneous. During the hearing process we presented to the JAG serious problems with which the case is rife. We are certain that we’ll be able to fight and prove Brigadier General Buchris’s innocence in court and that justice will prevail.”

Attorneys for the complaining officer, a Major, said that their client “was dragged into this affair against her choice, did not initiate a complaint against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris and was prepared to continue with her life. But once the military police investigators had come to her, she told them the truth regarding his behavior towards her. From the start she was certain that as soon as she exposed his actions he would be indicted, and that’s what took place today. The officer is certain the judicial system will know how to handle this case properly.”

In May 2002, Buchris commanded an operation to locate explosives labs and capture wanted terrorists in Shechem; during the raid on a house the company commander was killed and Buchris was severely injured, after being hit by four bullets. He received a commendation from then chief of staff Shaul Mofaz for his bravery.

In July 1994, while serving in the security strip in southern Lebanon, two of Buchris’s men were killed and four others were injured during an operational accident, when a troops carrier hit a high voltage wire; Buchris was indicted together with his battalion commander and the sector commander. They were acquitted of causing death through negligence but were convicted of negligence of duty.


‘Miriam’s Song’ Speaks to the Soul of the Nation of Israel About Loss

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The reviewer’s copy of Miriam’s Song has been floating around the house for days. It was passed from hand to hand during the holidays and scanned by family members over the Sabbath. Photos of national icon and author Miriam Peretz are scattered throughout the book: Miriam with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with President Reuven Rivlin … even in a hug with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Each time the promise was made to pass it on ‘when the review is finished.’ The list of readers demanding that book is as long as the entire apartment.

And yet.

It was ready for review a while ago. But how does one describe the world of a whisper, a prayer, a cry filled with grief, a confident embrace of support for countless others and yet a scream of defiance too?

Miriam's Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam’s Song, the best-selling account of a mother of two sons who lost their lives in combat, translated now from Hebrew into English.

Miriam Peretz does all that and more in her account of how she managed to survive the loss of her two sons in combat — one after the other, both serving in the Golani Brigade — and her husband whose heart she said “could simply stand no more” and yet motivate herself to move on and lead others.

The mother of six speaks of her children, all of whom served and serve in the Israel Defense Forces, most as members of the elite Golanis.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z'l.

Sons Avichai and Eliyasaf, Miriam and Eliraz, z’l.

She speaks of her childhood, how she immigrated to Israel with her parents as a child from Morocco, her years growing up in the south and her struggle to learn how to become an educator. Her courtship and marriage to her wonderfully patient, wise husband.

That first moment of pride seeing her oldest son in uniform, watching him grow to become an IDF officer. The first life-crushing experience when an IDF delegation came to say he’d never come home again, alive.

The battle faced by her life partner with a life-threatening illness that drained his vitality but not his determination – until the last moment when he too could fight no more.

The day she learned her second son was determined to follow his older brother’s footsteps: could she deny him his dream? And yet, the price she paid for her willingness to allow him that chance, the day she stood at the cemetery facing his newly-dug grave alone, without the support of her husband beside her.

The dilemma of no longer knowing which grave to visit “first” on Memorial Day: the guilt she felt that day. It is this last that perhaps is the most heartbreaking of all: for in this, Miriam is but one of thousands. How many wives and mothers and daughters join her in this horrific nightmare – whose grave to visit “first” this year at Mount Herzl’s military cemetery on Israel’s Memorial Day?

Father? Husband? Brother? Son? Daughter? Sister, Wife? Mother?

There they lie, our courageous, fearless veterans of every defensive war our battered but unbowed nation has ever fought. Without any hesitation they don their uniforms, shoulder their weapons and set off to their units with a chuckle and a grin, maybe a hug for the little ones, a whispered reassurance for an older child or a mother or a wife. None of them ever know when or if they will return. That is written Upstairs in the Big Book.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF to Place Four Elite Combat Units under New Command

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The IDF is placing its four elite combat units under a single commando brigade in the 98th Paratrooper’s Division.

The combat units Egoz, part of the Golani Brigade; Rimon, part of the Givati Brigade; Duvdevan of the Central Command; and Maglan of the combat engineering force will be under the new command to be headed by Col. David Zainy.

The new commando brigade will “improve joint operations of special forces in emergency [conditions]” and serve as “decisive front lines of the IDF against future challenges of the enemy,” said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

The famed Sayeret Matkal, which is under the direct command of the IDF General Staff’s Reconnaissance Unit, the Air Force’s Shaldag commando unit and the Navy’s Flotilla 13 will continue to operate autonomously.

Jewish Press News Briefs

US Shut Down Effort to Help Locate Kidnapped Israeli Soldier

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Who abruptly shut down in-process U.S. assistance to the Israeli government in its effort to locate a missing IDF soldier trapped in Gaza and in the clutches of Hamas? This is a mystery that demands to be answered.

The story first broke on Friday, Oct. 16, when top U.S. terrorism expert Steve Emerson penned a blockbuster report which appeared in his Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Emerson revealed there was an urgent, life-and-death request from the Israeli to the U.S. government for help in tracing the whereabouts of an Israeli soldier who was believed dragged – dead or alive, no one was sure – from a burning personnel carrier in the bowels of Gaza during this summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

The request was coursing through channels when all of a sudden the doors slam shut. An ordinary request that by all rights and beliefs should have been processed swiftly by one ally for another was peremptorily quashed. The request was denied and instead the U.S. prosecutors who had already geared up to assist our ally were told to stand down. Someone, somewhere in the U.S. government had decided instead that a formal, lengthy process was required, one that completely ignored the immediacy of the situation. That message was sent in an email from the FBI.

But the FBI does not make foreign policy decisions. It was not the FBI who yanked the lifeline from the Israeli captured behind enemy lines. So who did?


On July 20, the second day of the ground offensive during Operation Protective Edge, several members of the famed Golani brigade of the Israel Defense Force traveled into Gaza in an ancient armored personnel carrier.

The APC stalled in a crowded neighborhood and Hamas struck it with an anti-tank missile, causing it to explode. The blast was horrific – a munitions stockpile within the APC must have been hit – and Hamas terrorists fell upon the burning hulk, preventing IDF soldiers from immediately retrieving any IDF wounded or dead within the vehicle.

By the time IDF combat engineers were able to erect a barrier and seclude the APC from the marauding terrorists, one soldier remained unaccounted for. The body of First Sgt. Oron Shaul, 21, was missing. The bodies of six of his comrades were retrieved.

The next day, Hamas announced that it had captured Shaul. The announcement was met by singing and dancing and the distribution of candy in the streets of Gaza.

Hamas suggested that it had captured Shaul alive. It released Shaul’s picture, his army ID number and other of his belongings.


To prove its boast, Hamas hacked into Shaul’s Facebook page and posted claims in Arabic, Hebrew and English that he was being held by Hamas. The posts taunted Shaul’s family and his comrades.

Despite intense efforts to recover Shaul, the IDF was unable to do so and was not even sure if the soldier was living or dead.

But Hamas made a mistake in an effort to broadcast its treachery. By hacking into Shaul’s Facebook account, they left footprints which could be followed to determine their location. Those footprints are known as the Internet Protocol address. Facebook’s servers automatically keep a record of the IP address whenever an account is accessed, and that IP address is accompanied by the physical location, which would show where the Hamas hackers were when they hacked Shaul’s account.

As Emerson explained, “if the Israelis could obtain the Facebook server data as soon as possible, they might have had a chance to find the whereabouts of the terrorists who took Oron.”


Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Ordeal Ends: MIA Sgt. Oron Shaul Declared Dead

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Another family in Israel has received news it dreaded to hear – and yet, perhaps, with some measure of relief.

​ But the decision was received nevertheless with a flood of tears and immeasurable pain.​
The parents of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, age 20, were informed Friday afternoon that their son was declared dead Friday at 2:40 pm by IDF Chief Military Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Raphael Peretz.
Shaul, a member of the Golani Brigade, was killed in action in Gaza this past Sunday, July 20, along with six of his comrades.
The IDF chief rabbi came to the home to personally deliver the news, along with the head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, along with the commander of the 366th Reserve Division.
The soldier was to this point listed as missing in action.  He and his other comrades were killed when their armored personnel carrier (APC) sustained a direct hit by an anti-tank missile fired by Gaza terrorists. That same day, a total of 13 Golani soldiers were killed in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya – home to a nest of terrorists who were firing long-range missiles at cities all over Israel.
The bodies of Shaul’s six comrades were identified quickly after the battle, but Shaul’s body did not appear to be among them.
The Hamas terrorist organization took full advantage of the fog of war, crowing that its operatives had kidnapped ‘Shaul Aron, the soldier.’  Hamas mocked Israel, showing a photo ID and the army serial number – but the move was just more disinformation and psychological warfare, for IDF soldiers carry no photo ID with them when they go into battle.
Hamas provided no proof it held the soldier.
Moreover, the fact that all of the other occupants of the APC died on the spot, combined with the nature of the blast, made it highly unlikely that much, if anything remained of Shaul’s body, officials said.
Shaul’s family was informed that Rabbi Peretz determined their son was a fallen IDF soldier, whose place of burial is unknown. This halachic ruling eliminates the requirement for a funeral, the family was told; nor are they obligated to sit ‘shiva’ – the seven-day Jewish mourning period, they were told.
Hana Levi Julian

The Lone Survivor of the Golani 13

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

IDF soldier Shiloh Hadad is the lone survivor of the Golani 13, a combat team of fierce Israeli warriors who battled with Hamas terrorists just after midnight on Sunday.

This is his story, as told to his parents, who were rewarded with a 15-minute visit and a hug to reassure them their son was still alive after hearing the news that his comrades had died in battle.

Hadad was the eighth man in the APC (armored personnel carrier) that fought a fierce firefight with Hamas terrorists in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City.

His APC was set ablaze after an explosive device was detonated beneath it. Seven soldiers were killed.

Reportedly, it was an older APC and the vehicle was not equipped with the type of armor that its built to withstand such a blast. Hadad somehow managed to escape the inferno. Within 15 minutes, an eighth comrade in a nearby unit paid the ultimate price in the heavy fighting around him.

A lull, and a few hours of quiet.

Four hours later the battle resumed. Two more Golani soldiers died as the force fought Hamas terrorists around the buildings and in the alleyways of Shejaiya. The fighting went on for hours; and just before 9:00 am, the terrorists trapped a Golani unit inside a burning building. Three more Israeli soldiers died.

After the battle, Shiloh’s parents learned their son was in the Golani unit that had fought the battle, its APC a flaming wreck.

But as soon as he could, Shiloh called his parents to let them know he was okay, telling them, “You do not understand what has just happened to me.” They immediately set out to find him. It took hours to track him down.

“They wouldn’t let him go once they had their arms around him,” his aunt, Batsheva, told Hebrew-language media. “They held him 10, 15 minutes. But then after telling them what he went through, and how he was feeling, he said, ‘I have to go back in to the front, back to my friends.’ And he was gone.”

His aunt added that it was not clear how Hadad had managed to remain alive. “After that, he managed to escape but it is not clear how, and they had no time to talk.” His lightning decision to leave the APC when he did is what saved his life — a miracle.

“The fog of war still hangs over the incident, but it is likely that after the operation is over we will find out more details through the investigation into the incident,” she said. “But one thing is certain: Shiloh is a Golani warrior. He went through a really serious battle, but he insisted on going right back to Gaza.”

Hadad’s father agreed with his son’s decision, as difficult as it must have been for him. “This campaign is intended to save Jewish blood,” his father said. “We all are waiting in safety for him to do his job and protect the homeland. That is the way we taught him, and it is the way our family believes. My brother is in the military, and we have in our family other officers and commanders as well.

“I hope with all my heart and soul that all our soldiers return safe and sound.”

Hana Levi Julian

Mind-Blowing IDF Helicopter Action

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

The following are six incredible shots of IDF helicopters used in a variety of missions. These warplanes are ready to act on a moment’s notice to defend the State of Israel.

1. A Sikorsky CH 53 helicopter in the smoky sky.


Flying with obscured vision is just one of the many skills that a recruit must master before becoming an IAF pilot.

2. Apache helicopters fly over the skies of Greece.


The Hellenic Air Force and the IAF trained together in Greece in 2010. The two air forces practiced rescue missions, training with the Hellenic Air Force both in the role of ally and enemy. The exercise also gave the IAF the chance to practice rescue missinos while dealing with mountainous terrain and rapidly-changing weather.These types of exercises central to military cooperation between Israel and Greece.

3. IAF combat helicopters take flight in Israel’s open skies.


These five helicopters display the principles of cooperation and coordination. The pilots must work closely together to fly in unison and to complete their missions.

4. Rotors give off a ring of light.


A helicopter is waiting for takeoff during an aerial evacuation drill for the IDF’s Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, which is entirely comprised of Bedouin soldiers who volunteer for service in the IDF.

5. Helicopter takes off from Mt Hermon.


The helicopter took off after a visit from Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz to the snowy region. Mt. Hermon borders Syria and plays a strategic role in guarding Israel’s northern border.

6.  Golani Brigade commandos drill in the north of Israel.


The soldiers practiced storming an area, and operating under bio-chemical attack. The drill also included cooperation with the Israel Air Force, as the soldiers had to protect a helicopter that was to land in an open field.

IDF Spokesperson's Office

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/idf-blog-blogs/mind-blowing-idf-helicopter-action/2014/04/13/

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