Commander: I Told Lie, I Resign

IDF Brig.-Gen. Imad Fares, Galilee Formation Commander, has taken responsibility for telling a lie, and his resignation has been accepted.

Hillel Fendel ,

Gen. Imad Fares
Gen. Imad Fares
Israel news photo: IDF

IDF Brig.-Gen. Imad Fares, Galilee Formation Commander, has taken responsibility for telling a lie, and his resignation from the IDF has been accepted.

Fares [pronounced FAH-ress], the highest-ranking Druze officer in the IDF, admitted that he lied last week when reporting on a car accident that occurred when his wife was driving an IDF car she wasn’t authorized to operate. Fares told his superiors, and signed on official investigative documents, that he was in the car at the time of the accident. No one was hurt in the incident.

This past Sunday, following an installment ceremony of a new Galilee Formation Division Commander, Fares asked to speak with Northern Command Head Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisencott. He told his superior officer that he had not spoken the truth when he said he was in the car, and added, “I cannot live with this.” Eisencott said he views the incident “gravely.” 

On Monday, Fares – the highest-ranking Druze officer in the IDF – informed both Eisencott and IDF Chie
“I wish to act like an officer and a commander and as I educated and demanded of those under my command throughout my army service.”
f of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi that he had decided to “take responsibility” for his words and resign from the army.

Regrets
In his meeting with Ashkenazi, Fares said he regrets what happened, accepts full responsibility for it, and “understands the significance of this” – meaning that he must resign. “I wish to act like an officer and a commander and as I educated and demanded of those under my command throughout my army service,” Fares said.

His two superior officers said they would accept his resignation. Eisencott said that Fares had made a significant and major contribution in a wide range of military capacities towards the security of the State of Israel. However, he added, though he is a reputed and admired field commander, the incident at hand cannot be overlooked, from a normative and ethical standpoint. Ashkenazi expressed similar sentiments.

Fares served as Galilee Formation Commander for two years. Instead of becoming commander of the Course for New Regiment and Battalion Commanders as planned, he will now begin a forced vacation period. The case of the car accident and subsequent lie will now be transferred to the Military Police, where it is felt that there will be no choice but to prosecute him.

Likud MK to Chief of Staff: Don't Accept Resignation
Likud MK Ayoub Kara, also of the Druze community, called on Ashkenazi not to accept Fares’ resignation, but rather to promote him: “Fares has sown fear among Hizbullah in recent years, leading to quiet on the northern border. There is no need to nitpick on every disciplinary clause in order to harm a praiseworthy and admired officer. We must stop being a society that ‘consumes the best of its sons.’”

Kara intimated that Druze-Jewish relations will be harmed by the incident: “Brig.-Gen. Fares is well respected not only in the Druze community, but also in the broad Israeli public. The acceptance of his resignation will be a blow to the IDF and to the value of camaraderie – for everyone makes mistakes.”

Fares in Gush Katif
On the other hand, Fares was accused of brutality during the destruction of Kfar Darom in the Disengagement from Gush Katif in 2005. People on the scene said that Fares and a police officer promised the residents, who had congregated on the synagogue roof, that whoever left the roof on his own would be allowed to pray freely and would not be arrested. In the event, however, the officers violated the agreement, breaking into the synagogue in the middle of the evening prayer and dragging all the worshipers away in a mass arrest. The Police Department later closed the case against Fares and the other officer, claiming “lack of public interest.”



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