Daily Israel Report

IDF General Shocked by Hatred for Soldiers

Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrachi expressed dismay and confusion over hatred for IDF soldiers by Jewis youth after violent clashes in Samaria.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 12/13/2011, 6:03 PM

Avi Mizrachi
Avi Mizrachi
Flash 90

IDF Central Command chief Avi Mizrahi said Tuesday he was shocked by the level of hatred expressed towards soldiers by angry Jewish youth who raided a military base in Samaria late last night after hearing rumors demolitions of Jewish outposts by soldiers were imminent.

At the time of the disengagement from Gaza, observers predicted that using the IDF to banish Jews from their homes would lead to estrangement from the IDF of idealistic, young people who were shocked to see soldiers unemotionally following orders that destroyed their lives.

This did not show up in enlistment figures, with the rightist youngsters continuing to volunteer for combat and elite combat units. However, some of the young people became convinced that the peaceful, quiet protests that preceded the disengagement  were a tactical mistake, because the government ignored them, although hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets against the disastrous move.

Monday night some 50 angry youth invaded the Ephraim Brigade headquarters in Samaria, sparking clashes with the soldiers stationed there. During the raid the youth reportedly burned tires and damaged IDF vehicles by throwing stones, Molotov cocktails, and scattering nails on the road. IDF personnel were forced to call for police reinforcements to end the incident.

After touring the base with IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz and Judea and Samaria Division commander Hagai Mordechai, Mizrachi spoke with reporters.

"This event is planned against the government's decision to carry out the evacuation of outposts," Mizrachi said, adding he regarded the incident as "very serious" and would "do what it takes to catch the perpetrators and bring them to court."

"I saw the people – rioters – and was shocked by what I saw. I mean, this kind of anger by Jews toward Israeli soldiers I have not seen in all my years," Mizrachi said.

The IDF reported stones had been thrown at the Ephraim brigade commander's vehicle - injuring him - in a separate incident.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered his senior security chiefs to draw up an 'Emergency Plan' for dealing with attacks on IDF personnel and installations in Judea and Samaria.

Both incidents were denounced across the board by community leaders in Judea and Samaria who described them as "shameful and disgraceful" acts that only served to harm Israel's settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.