Israel State Comptroller Mantanyahu Englman warned in an “urgent” report published Sunday that Israeli military reservists are woefully unprepared to carry out their tasks in Judea and Samaria.
“For the past few weeks, the IDF has been carrying out important combat operations in [Judea and Samaria],” Englman wrote, noting that it appears the current Operation Break the Wave counterterrorism operation will become “a rolling operation that may last a long time.”
However, after surprise visits to the Kfir Brigade training base in the Jordan Valley and the Yakir military post in Judea/Samaria this past August, he said, “The IDF is not logistically sufficiently prepared for the continued fighting in [Judea and Samaria].”
The comptroller cited issues with equipment, living conditions, medical treatment and even food.
Englman said reservists at the Yakir military post lacked proper equipment and received faulty weaponry. Kfir Brigade recruits reported to be training under poor living conditions that included broken air conditioners and the absence of cold water fountains in their Jordan Valley base.
Moreover, the report cited poor management of the base armory at Yakir, quoting soldier complaints about the weapons they were provided, and the quality of food rations.
There are two battalions being maintained at the Yakir base, including a Golani Brigade battalion.
“It is not possible to accept a reality in which in heat of more than 40 degrees (Celsius) in the Jordan Valley, troops do not have basic drinking water that is not boiling and have to make do with inadequate air conditioners, some of which remain broken due to lack of funding,” Englman wrote.
He added that soldiers receive one portion of meat per day, which he said was an “insufficient quantity. . . in order to be in shape and face the physical challenges of their training.”
Moreover, he wrote, “The reality of combat troops not seeing a doctor for months is unacceptable. Those enlisting in combat units should know that the State of Israel stands behind them.”
The Golani soldiers, who usually serve in northern Israel, told Englman’s team they are concerned they will not be adequately prepared for any battle that may break out in the north with Lebanon’s Iranian proxy, Hezbollah.
Englman warned that the IDF and the Defense Ministry “must” deal with “this critical issue” in order to “support the reservists and maintain their motivation. They protect us; it is our duty to protect them.”
In response, the IDF said some of the issues had since been addressed since Englman’s visits. Others are still in process – but the IDF added the issues do not harm the readiness and proficiency of the troops.
The investigation was carried out as part of the “Break the Wave” counterterrorism operation that began earlier this year in response to the wave of Arab terror attacks that took place between mid-March and the end of April, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, leaving 19 Israelis dead and many more wounded.