Soldiers Trained to Shoot Jews

At a recent reservists' training, one exercise involved a Jew threatening to murder soldiers – and being shot. Revelation causes outrage.

Tags: Ehud Barak
Maayana Miskin , | updated: 13:06

Soldiers (illustrative)
Soldiers (illustrative)
Flash 90

IDF reservists attended a training exercise that involved a scenario in which soldiers shot and killed a Jewish resident of Judea and Samaria. The exercise, exposed by journalist Hagai Segel of Makor Rishon, caused an outrage among soldiers, politicians and civilians.

The incident involved reservists from the Carmeli brigade. Prior to deployment they conducted an exercise during which they were shown various scenarios involving violent attacks on soldiers. The scenarios were invented for the purpose of the training, and were not based on actual events.

In one scenario, soldiers manning a checkpoint on Friday afternoon, shortly before the beginning of the Sabbath, were approached by a Jewish driver who demanded to get through the checkpoint, in order to reach his home in a nearby town. The soldiers explained that the checkpoint was closed due to the presence of a suspicious parcel.

The “Judea resident” then exited his car, pulled out a knife, put it against a soldier's throat, and threatened to kill the soldier if he was not allowed to pass. The mock scenario ended with soldiers shooting the man in the head, killing him. Nothing remotely approaching this scenario has ever occurred.
A second scenario involved a lesser threat posed by an Arab resident of the same area. Terrorist attacks on soldiers are not a theoretical exercise.

Several of the reservists present at the training were themselves residents of Judea and Samaria, who protested the scenario and told commanders it was totally unrealistic. They pointed out that none of the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Judea and Samaria has ever threatened to kill a soldier.

The author of the script for the scenario, an IDF colonel, defended his production, and the scenario was later shown to a different group of soldiers despite the first group's objections.

IDF: All Exercises Legitimate
IDF spokesmen told Makor Rishon, “The IDF prepares soldiers on their way to service in Judea and Samaria for a wide range of possibilities. During the preparation we present various scenarios, which are often deliberately exaggerated, in order to prepare commanders to deal with complicated situations.”

However, other sources stated that this shows that  the IDF plans to cross a red line in reacting more harshly against Judea and Samaria Jews who protest or who clash with soldiers or with PA Arabs.

Rivlin: Intolerable Carelessness
Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) expressed shock at the report. “The creation of disastrous imaginary scenarios such as this seems to point at an intolerable carelessness. The IDF is the people's army, and must not bring deeply controversial issues into its operations.”

“There is no doubt that this must be raised before the Knesset next week, and that the defense establishment must be required to give answers,” he added.