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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘IDF’

Rightwing Paper Crowns Shooting Medic Azaria ‘Man of the Year’

Friday, September 30th, 2016

On Wednesday, Hagai Segal, editor of the right-leaning Makor Rishon, directed at the National Religious public, revealed on Twitter the Friday cover page of his newspaper’s Shabbat supplement Dyokan (Portrait) dedicated to their pick of Man of the Year 5776, with a flattering image of Sgt. Elor Azaria, the medic whose shot that killed a terrorist on the ground at a Hebron check post last Purim Day also appears to have killed a long-held belief that the IDF’s values and priorities were synonymous with those of the Jewish nation in Israel.

“The court will rule on the severity of his action,” says the subheadline on the same cover, “but there’s no doubt that the single bullet he shot at the terrorist ignited the stormiest debate in Israel’s society this year.”

Many readers confuse the meaning of a publication’s Man of the Year pick with an endorsement, even praise of his actions. Segal’s team made certain to convey that they picked Azaria not because they necessarily agree with his shooting of an already “neutralized” terrorist, but because of his strong influence on Israelis — the majority of whom rebelled publicly and in no uncertain terms against a confused military and political leadership that actually considered charging an IDF soldier with murder of an Arab terrorist who had already stabbed another soldier in the neck.

The military prosecution finally gave in to the tide of public rage and settled for a manslaughter indictment, which did not make it or the man at the helm of the defense apparatus, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), more popular in the least. In the end, Ya’alon was ousted, replaced by Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), allowing Prime Minister Netanyahu to kill two birds with one convenient stone, getting rid of an increasingly unpopular (and preachy) defense minister, and adding a crucial coalition partner to give him a safer edge in the Knesset.

Despite the fact that Israelis were preoccupied with the passing of the late Shimon Peres this week, the Segal tweet received its share of boos and applause, much of it revolving around the difference between picking the MOY because he was influential vs. being praiseworthy.

Former Peace Now chief Yariv Oppenheimer tweeted back that he’d pick Hagai Klein, the man who was shot by an Arab terrorist gunman at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, and despite his injury managed to tackle the shooter with his bare hands. Obviously, a brave man worthy of a medal, but few Israelis would recognize his name without Googling it.

There was one tweet suggesting the man of the year award should be given to the B’Tselem cameraman who captured the shooting — which makes sense in a big bang theory kind of way.

Meretz Chairwoman MK Zehava Galon attacked the choice on it’s merit: “Enough already,” she wrote. “Azaria didn’t ignite a debate. He shot the head of a neutralized terrorist.” She then rebuked Segal’s choice, saying that “choosing him as man of the year sends a clear message to anyone who understands it.” Meaning, obviously, that Azaria wasn’t only influential, he was also right in the eyes of many Israelis, and that in itself is dangerous.

It so happens that another Israeli newspaper, Ma’ariv, which hovers around the center-right political zone, on Friday published a column by journalist Ben Kaspit who also picked Azaria as his choice for man of the year. “One shot from Elor Azaria, a simple soldier from the Kfir Brigade, woke up all the sleeping demons in Israel’s society,” Kaspit wrote, adding, “Like it or not, Elor Aazaria was the most influential man of the year 5776.”

We will be revealing our choice for Man of the Year Saturday night. Here’s a hint: she’s not a man. Unless, of course we’ll have one of those editorial brawls today and come up with someone else. Stay tuned.


Former Commander of Gaza Division: Azaria Shot Because He Felt Threatened

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Brigadier General (Res.) Shmuel Zakai, the former Commander of the IDF Gaza Division, testified for the defense on Tuesday in the trial of Elor Azaria, the medic charged with manslaughter for killing an already neutralized terrorist, and generally backed the defendant’s version of the event, Walla reported.

“The way Azaria was documented in the videos shows that he shot because he was under danger,” Zakai said, noting that “shooting needlessly, just to kill, is forbidden and I object to it wholeheartedly.” He argued that “when the defendant claimed that he carried out the shooting of the terrorist because he thought he was carrying an explosive charge on his person, it was a reasonable cause, under the circumstances, to open fire.”

When asked in cross examination to describe Azaria’s shooting, Zakai testified, “I’ve seen in my life people who shot just to kill. To my delight, none of them were IDF soldiers. Azaria looked like someone who was shooting for a reason.”

Zakai criticized Hebron Brigade Commander Colonel Yariv Ben-Ezra for using the term “Threat Reference” in relation to the event, suggesting it comes from the realm of security and is not a military term. “It’s unreasonable that a commander would determine for his soldier an enemy’s activity in terms of a threat reference,” the former Division Commander said, adding it was “an operational and professional mistake.” He also testified that his understanding, from reading the testimonies of the company commander, battalion commander and brigade commander, that the division commander had restricted the rules of engagement “out of concern that a shooting might lead to numerous casualties, which would add fuel to the flames of incitement.”

In other words, by handing down politically driven rules of engagement, according to Zakai, the brigade commander exposed his soldiers to needless risks on the ground when faced with violent attacks, such as the March 24, 2016 stabbing.

Zakai’s testimony is the latest in similar professional views presented by the defense to suggest the scene of the Hebron event was chaotic and that Azaria did his best in a badly managed IDF operation.

David Israel

IDF Extensive Overnight Raids Capture Jenin Weapons Workshops

Monday, September 26th, 2016

IDF forces in collaboration with Border Guard and Shabak units raided weapons workshops overnight in the town of Jenin in Samaria. The operation shut down two workshops and captured four guns, magazines, ammunition and weapons parts.

In addition, overnight IDF and Judea and Samaria police closed down a weapons workshop in ad-Dhahiriya, near Hebron.

A third overnight raid by IDF and police forces yielded “Carlo” homemade submachine guns.

Back in June, Newsweek reported that Arab social media users have been referring crowding the #CarloSalvo, “a morbid tip of the hat to a homemade sub-machine gun version of the Swedish military’s World War II Carl Gustav rifle, nicknamed the ‘Carlo.'” Virtually every post is accompanied by praises to the gun as a weapon worthy of a “hero.”

Captured "Carlo" homemade submachine guns.

Captured “Carlo” homemade submachine guns.

David Israel

IDF Huge Data Consolidation Tender to Complement Future IDF Cloud

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Israel’s Defense Ministry has issued the largest ever technology tender, aiming to consolidate all the IDF data centers, in conjunction with the future project developing an IDF cloud, to the tune of an estimated $270 million. The plan calls for the winner, which must be an Israeli company, to contract with a foreign partner for the project of consolidating the entire IDF data into a few computer centers which will serve the IDF land, air and sea units.

The move, according to the Defense Ministry’s statement, is crucial to enabling the IDF to maintain the ongoing upgrading of its systems over the next decades. The migration of all this data will require a detailed examination of the existing systems, involving millions of decisions regarding what to keep and what to discard. Which is why the ministry is encouraging local IT companies to coalesce in order to qualify for the bid, and to then work in collaboration with one chosen foreign company.

The ministry is not interested in using the services of local data farm companies, at least not directly. The IDF wants to build its own data farms. Also, the new tender does not deal with buying cloud technology, because the military is already engaged in defining a tender for an exclusive IDF cloud. In their meeting with the press Thursday, IDF and Defense Ministry spokespersons assured reporters the two projects will remain distinct, so that the development of one will not hinder the other’s. At the same time, they expect the two systems — the future IDF data farms and the future IDF cloud — to act together eventually.

As the IDF is in the process of clearing out of its very expensive real estate in downtown Tel Aviv and moving to a new military city near Beer Sheva in the south, it is safe to assume that at least part of the new storage system will also be erected there, in the Negev desert.

Many in Israel’s technology media have noted that the biggest challenge facing the new data storage system would be the requirement that the Infantry, Armored Forces, IAF, and Navy be able to share it effectively, making the system work for them instead of against them. The challenges in this case have less to do with technology and more with ego. Back in 2006, the IDF decided to kill its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, one year after the $200 million project had been launched. The problem, according to a Globes report at the time, was that each corps selected a system that was specifically tailored to its requirements (either SAP- or Oracle-based), without regard for the need for a uniform technological and operating capacity across all branches.

Hopefully, the planners of the new tender have taken those issues into consideration. The IDF insists that the 2014 Gaza war marked a watershed in the new collaboration among the branches, and, besides, the IDF Chief of Staff has ordered collaboration as a priority, so they better collaborate.


Happy Rosh Hashana from the IDF

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

This video is from 2013, but we’re celebrating Rosh Hashana this year too!

We’ll post the latest IDF Rosh Hashana video once it’s up.

Video of the Day

Magistrate Court Refusing to Rule on IDF General’s Jurisdiction Inside the ‘Green Line’

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

A Petah Tikva Magistrate Court judge on Tuesday ruled that a man accused of defying an administrative restraining order issued by the OC Central Command remain free until his trial, but refused to rule on the extent of the authority of the IDF Central Command within the “green line,” Honenu legal aid society reported.

Police on Sunday arrested a young Samaria resident in his 20s claiming he had violated an executive order handed him by OC Central Command Gen. Roni Numa. The order instructed the young man to remain in the community of Tzofim, northeast of Kfar Saba, in Samaria, and observe a curfew in his parents home in the same community. But the young man has chosen instead to reside in Beit Shemesh and, in fact, received the order in Jerusalem.

Honenu attorney Menashe Yado, representing the defendant, sent an appeal to the OC Central Command arguing that the law does not give the IDF chief executive in Judea and Samaria any legal jurisdiction inside pre-1967 Israel, so that the restraining order was inherently a breach of the military’s authority.

Last Sunday, about three weeks after said correspondence had taken place, the young man was arrested in the Beit Shemesh area and was indicted in the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court on five items of violating a restraining order, based on testimony of police who looked for him at his parents’ home and did not find him there. Police then asked for his detention, claiming that he posed danger to the public.

Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi, who represented the defendant at the hearing, argued that the chief of Central Command has no jurisdiction outside Judea and Samaria, noting the correspondence to that effect which had been conducted with the IDF. Hajbi also questioned just how dangerous police really considered his client to be if they had let three weeks lapse between the day they discovered his absence and the day they picked him up.

Judge Eti Craif ruled the defendant could go free, conditioned on providing alternative detention, but refused to rule on the issue of the IDF General’s jurisdiction, noting that as long as the restraining order itself is valid, the only place to discuss it is in a military appeals committee.

Attorney Hajbi expressed satisfaction at the fact that his client was released, even though the court completely ignored his main argument.


IDF Raids in Hebron Following New Terror Wave

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Following the recent terror attacks in Hebron, the IDF Judea Regional Brigade carried out raids around the city which yielded home made weapons, parts for the M16 rifle, bullets and additional military equipment, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office reported.

During the night security forces arrested eight wanted terror suspects.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-raids-in-hebron-following-new-terror-wave/2016/09/21/

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