IDF bans donations to soldiers

A new plan, called "Yachad," will allow the IDF provide for every soldier - while preventing them for providing for themselves.

Hezki Baruch and Rachel Kaplan ,

Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot
Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot
IDF Spokesperson

A new initiative, pushed by MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin (Zionist Union), will allow donors to contribute directly to the IDF.

Called "Yachad," the plan will allow the IDF to receive donations, and distribute official equipment to its soldiers - while disallowing any individual soldiers from receiving equipment privately.

At a presentation to the Foreign and Defense Ministries, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot explained that the IDF is obligated to provide all equipment necessary for IDF soldiers. Therefore, it is now illegal for a soldier to use equipment not provided by the IDF.

Nahmias-Verbin argues that the IDF isn't doing enough to provide for its personnel.

"In the last two years, dozens of Facebook pages and forums have been made, for the purpose of gathering donations for military equipment - and these receive dozens of posts a day, with different requests for for military equipment that the IDF hadn't managed to provide," argued Nahmias-Verbin.

According to her, "We're talking about a donated shirt which costs 70 shekels, sweaters which cost 300 shekels - even bullet-proof vests which cost 1,200 shekels. Parents have even been requested to buy shoes for their children in combat fighters."

Her plan will grant the IDF the funds to provide authorized equipment to the soldiers who need it, by centralizing the donations meant for the IDF.

"There are organizations which work in tandem with the IDF to organize bar mitzvahs on IDF bases, on condition of a large donation. Those donations allow soldiers to drive tanks and shoot at firing ranges."

Kirschner added, "We're talking about tens of millions of shekels devoted to repair the gap, and to make sure that all equipment makes it to the field in an equal manner."

She emphasized that "No donations were passed for core learning requirements which the IDF is obligated to provide. No donations were passed for kitchens, living quarters, equipment, battle aids, vests, pools, dust goggles, flashlights, and more. We will make sure that the equipment will reach the soldiers at the necessary scale." It is her hope that the new funds provided to the IDF will fill the gap between what soldiers need and what soldier have.

However, she warned, the IDF is now "working to cut off all connections between donors and units...and we will send text messages to all soldiers to make the matter clear. All donations to the IDF will be received via 'Yachad' - and no soldier or commander will act for, ask for, or receive a donation or a present.

"From now on, it is forbidden for IDF soldiers to be in direct contact with donors."



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