Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Smoke near a mosque in Jenin as the IDF begins a major offensive in the terrorist hotbed. July 3, 2023

IDF soldiers who were suspended from reserve service after having broadcast the Shema Yisrael prayer from a mosque in Jenin are hurt, one fighter said in an interview with the Srugim news outlet.


The soldiers, who are completing the week-long suspension, are set to return to service in a few days.

One fighter told Srugim the soldiers were pained to discover they were being sacrificed on the altar of politics, finding out through the media that they were dismissed even before they were brought to trial.

“We are fighters who left everything – family, children, work – to engage in intense fighting and exposure to terrorist threats,” said G, a reserve fighter who battled in Jenin.

“The goal of the “Shema Yisrael” was to raise the morale of our company. The lack of backup was a severe blow to all the fighters who are giving their lives for their people and nation,” he said.

A few hours prior to their broadcast of the Shema from the mosque loudspeaker, the soldier said his unit was engaged in a “very large explosives detection operation.” The fighters discovered bombs that could have been used to kill them and other soldiers, along with explosives that could be used to blow up armored vehicles.

“Jenin is not a game of children throwing stones,” he emphasized. “These are terrorists whose goal is to repeat October 7th, to make a Simchat Torah 2.0. Jenin is no different from Gaza.

“This is a whole city full of terror; we found hundreds of radios, proving that they operate as an organized army. In Jenin there is terrorism like that in Gaza. They have not yet made an October 7th but they are not far from it,” he warned, adding the forces found many Amal (Lebanese affiliate of Hezbollah) and Hamas flags there.

The day of the mosque incident, the unit got up at 5 am, and after three hours of intense operation, found 35 bombs in one structure. “Usually, we find three, and the most we have seen in seven explosives in one place,” the soldier said.

“The military procedure is to blow up the building where a bomb is found. When we found one inside a mosque, we took it out with our hands because we respect their holy places.”

The soldier noted that Amal-related materials were also found in the minaret of the mosque.

“The bomb was the size of a fire extinguisher – we took it out of the building to detonate it outside. No one considered detonating it in the mosque, even though it was dangerous to remove it.

“We went in to rest from this dangerous operation, sat down to eat something and while searching the mosque we found the loudspeaker – so we decided to lift our spirits,” he explained.

The first condemnations of the broadcast from the mosque came from the media, the soldier pointed out, and not the enemy.

“They rushed to report we were suspended even while I am still fighting with terrorists,” he said. “Only at 10 pm did we receive a message that we were suspended.

“The media stirred up the story,” he said.

The soldier also noted that in Gaza, mosques are being blown up. However, he added, “no one is saying that’s immoral, because they know the roots of terrorism run deep and we need to address the source.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.