Photo Credit: Posted by حسن بن بشر الجالودي
Prayer in the Great Jenin Mosque following clashes between IDF soldiers and the Islamic Jihad.

Two soldiers of the Haredi Reserve 941st Battalion who were recorded chanting the Shema in a mosque in Jenin were dismissed from the reserves on Friday morning, after the IDF had announced Thursday night that their action was against the values of the IDF and the fighters would be punished. Or, as the IDF spokesman put it, “The behavior of the fighters in the videos is serious and stands in complete contrast to the values of the IDF. The soldiers will be disciplined accordingly.”

When I first found out about the incident, I invited our readers to “Enjoy: IDF Soldier Says Shema Israel over Jenin Mosque PA System.”


But soon after, Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Rav Yitzchak Yosef, sent a letter to Rabbi Eyal Krim, the chief rabbi of the IDF, with a very different take on the matter. The chief rabbi ruled that unless it is needed for conducting the war, “it is forbidden to tease them, loot or destroy, especially regarding religious issues.”

Israel’s chief Sephardi Rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef / David Cohen/FLASH90

Rav Yosef stressed: “The nation of Israel are the chosen people and we do not imitate the actions of those murderers who slaughtered mercilessly, plundered, destroyed and desecrated all that is holy and dear to us. Therefore we are obligated to be extra careful and avoid actions that do not support the war effort and damage the nation of Israel and its reputation around the world.”

You’ll notice that the chief rabbi’s ruling was founded on his assumption that saying Shema Israel in a mosque did not promote the war effort.

This is where it gets complicated. According to Hakol Hayehudi, the mosque, known as the “Great Mosque of the Jenin Camp,” is being used as the base of the Jenin Battalion, founded in Jenin in 2021 by Jamil Al-Amouri of the Islamic Jihad.

Hakol Hayehudi reported that on Thursday, the same day as the Shema recitation, IDF fighters located a large number of bullet casings the terrorists fired from the mosque’s minaret at IDF forces in a previous operation, as well as an explosive device. In addition, an alarm was being triggered over the mosque’s PA system, following which shots were fired at IDF troops. Military officials have long since concluded that the mosque was being used as a terrorist base for all intents and purposes.

In the past, the IDF engaged in fire exchanges with terrorists who were barricaded inside the Great Jenin Mosque, and the mosque has served as a regular departure point for terrorist processions in the Jenin camp, as well as a departure point for the funerals of the many terrorists who are exterminated in Jenin by the IDF.

Finally, since October 7, the very same PA speakers that were graced by the Shema, routinely played the inflammatory speeches of Hamas spokesman Abu Obeidah.

The soldiers of the 941st Battalion protested the dismissals and stated: “We the fighters of Platoon 2, Company of the 941st Battalion protest the trial of our friend who recited Shema Israel in a mosque. A mosque where you find explosive charges and weapons, a mosque that readies the terrorists and sounds the alarm when our forces enter Jenin, a mosque that broadcasts incitements to murder soldiers and civilians.

“There is nothing wrong in reciting the Shema Israel, it raised our spirits and empowered us during a long and intensive operation. We ask that you reconsider the verdict and change it to only a reprimand.” (Courtesy Amit Segal).

With all of the above in mind, the honorable chief rabbi might do well to classify the humiliation of Jenin terrorists with the loud recitation of Shema Israel as a great contribution to the war effort. And the Division Commander should recall our boys.

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