'Slapping-Defender' Col. Virov to be Head Infantry Officer

IDF rethinking policy: Col. Itai Virov, who was reprimanded for supporting a soldier who slapped an Arab, will be promoted.

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Gil Ronen,

Itai Virov
Itai Virov
IDF website

The former commander of Kfir Brigade, Col. Itai Virov, will be promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and become the IDF's Chief Infantry and Paratrooper Officer.

The decision was made by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
Virov was reprimanded by his higher-ups after he testified for the defendant in the case against Adam Malul, an officer who was accused of slapping an Arab suspect. Virov testified on Malul's behalf, saying that in the course of military operations, relatively light violence like "a slap in the face, a blow to the back of the neck or the chest, a knee or a choke" are often necessary for "achieving calm" and "completing the mission."
He did not mention outright that it might save soldiers' lives as well, but parents who reacted to his words in the media said it for him.
Major General Gadi Shamni reprimanded Virov and the Military Prosecution launched an investigation against him. The investigation was called off last week when a military court of appeals decided that it was unjustified and could be seen as an attempt to influence the legal proceedings against Malul.