IDF report:
Commander forcibly shaves soldier with knife

IDF releases report showing over 6,000 complaints by soldiers in 2019, majority of which were found to be justified.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

IDF soldiers
IDF soldiers
Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

Deputy Commissioner of Soldiers and Security Comptroller, Brigadier General (res.) Eitan Dahan, submitted to Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee the 48th annual report on complaints within the IDF for 2019.

The report found that the previous year was characterized by excessive use of physical violence and force by commanders, cases of racist statements against soldiers from the Ethiopian community and poor treatment of soldiers' medical rights.

In addition, there remains the high and alarming number of complaints against officers.

Overall, 6,114 complaints were filed in 2019, 59% of admissions were found to be justified.

Examples stand out from the Commissioner of Admissions Report

Violence:

A soldier arrived at the base after fasting when he had not shaved and the deputy commander attached a folding knife to the soldier's neck and began to scratch off his hair on his cheek.

In another case, the platoon commander forcibly removed a ring which carried a very emotional value from a soldier's finger and caused the ring to break. The soldier had inherited the from his late grandfather.

Racism:

An female Ethiopian soldier filed a complaint against the commander of her unit, who during a conversation in the dining room said "You are not Jews, you are Gentiles, you are worse off than Arabs." An inquest into the investigation revealed that the officer did indeed speak inappropriately towards the soldier, but he said his remarks were directed at the protests which were being held by members of the Ethiopian community, not towards the soldier herself: "The demonstrations are worse than the Arab demonstrations."

Ethiopian soldier complained against the kitchen in his unit, a member of which said to him two days after the shooting incident in which a policeman killed the Ethiopian Israeli youth Solomon Taka, thus: "Get out of here before I call a policeman who will shoot you!.

Another soldier said that the platoon commander had been racist towards the Ethiopian soldiers in the platoon, saying he "does not see Ethiopians at night because they are black."

Medicine:

A soldier complained that his unit's command and medical services had delayed in allowing him to seek treatment, despite his repeated complaints of intense pain in his stomach. The platoon commander and the deputy commander did not exercise their command responsibility for the soldier's urgent evacuation to the emergency room and did not consult with medical officials in view of his medical condition. In the end, the soldier's examination at the hospital found that his appendix had exploded and he urgently required surgery. During the operation, the appendix was excised, the abdomen washed and drained. After about a week, additional abdominal washes were required.

In another case, a medic examined soldier several times in his unit, after he had fainted and complained of headaches. Despite numerous inquiries from the medic about the continuation of the complaints, the soldier was twice examined by the unit's physician, who was not impressed with unusual findings. Only a few days later, the doctor referred the soldier for an examination in the emergency room, where pneumonia was demonstrated in the chest.

In another case, paramedics examined a soldier and expressed their opinion that he should be referred to a physician due to a leg injury, but he was not immediately brought to a doctor. The soldier had to continue five days with a leg fracture until a doctor examined him. In another similar case a clinic worker testified that a soldier had been suffering from stomach pain for two days, noting that it was a side effect of a drug he was taking. On the basis of the report conveyed by the paramedic to the battalion medical officer, the physician decided that no urgent medical examination was necessary. A few days later, the soldier went to the Bikuropa Clinic for the same complaints and was referred for further examination in the emergency room, then was diagnosed with abscess in the appendix area.

Another parallel indicates that a doctor stated in the soldier's medical file the comment 'lol? Alongside the record of neurologist recommendations for rest days in the computerized medical record and even a referral given to a soldier for a CT scan.

Invasion of privacy:

A soldier in a company photographed himself with the company commander's personal equipment and shared the pictures through the "Whattsap" app in the departmental group. After the rumor about the incident was brought to the attention of the company commander, he instructed the platoon soldiers to open the phones in front of him to see if the picture was indeed received by the other soldiers.

In another case, a soldier complained about another soldier serving with him in the department, who photographed him against his will when he ate on the department desk.

Failure to realize soldiers' rights:

One soldier filed a complaint that adequate nutritional alternatives for vegan soldiers werer not provided in his unit's dining room and that he was allegedly served a meat dish presented as vegan.

Some soldiers complained of a lengthy delay, sometimes lasting months, in the handling of the appeals they filed against the rejections of their applications for a permit to grow a beard, as well as obtaining an argument that was not sufficiently detailed in response to their requests.

A soldier on duty must remain in custody for three days after his request to lighten his sentence has already been approved by a commanding officer. During the admissions inquiry, it emerged that the approval of the request signed by the Major General was not forwarded from his office to the commanders at the prison facility for three days, for bureaucratic reasons and without any of the officials responsible for handling the request, starting with the Maj. Gen. Without delay.

A female soldier complained about the insensitivity of the commanding officers in her unit when she did not respond to her request to stop the trip so that she could use the restroom during a long bus ride.

The IDF's response to the 2019 report:

"The IDF thanks the commissioner of soldiers' complaints and his representatives for the report and the work throughout the year. The IDF sees importance in the report which raises issues that require examination and treatment of the daily lives of IDF soldiers. The report will assist in promoting the response given to IDF servants individually and systematically.

"The IDF is committed to learning the findings, learning the lessons, and correcting as needed as soon as possible. The IDF operates a number of internal control and control mechanisms aimed at improving a wide range of issues, most notably the IDF's readiness for service quality.

"In accordance with the decision of the Chief of Staff, Major General Aviv Kochavi, Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, a regular procedure will be developed for deepening the findings and addressing the gaps raised in the report, all events are learned, handled and extracted from personal and systemic lessons." .

Summary of the report's findings as provided by the IDF:

1. The IDF does not have tolerance for violence of any kind and violent acts are treated with a severe hand. The most serious cases are those of commander violence against a subordinate. These are very exceptional cases and are treated very severely.

2. The IDF headquarters work in coordination and cooperation to realize the full rights of the soldiers and to reduce the gap between the command and the way it is implemented.

3. The medical services provided to the IDF soldiers are at the core of the medical corps' occupation, technology and logistics division and the general staff and their quality improvement is a key goal we are advancing year by year. As for the outsourcing audit, this is a significant and complex process, with extensive implications, managed regularly. And advances according to a schedule approved by the General Staff. Its realization will require agreements between government ministries and national bodies.

4. The issue of medical documentation is an integral part of any patient or casualty encounter with a military medical officer. We will continue to engage and focus on training for continuous, reliable and comprehensive documentation of each medical session.

5. Following the change in the Security Service Law, it was decided to establish the "Recovery Unit", which began operation in January 2020.

6. The IDF began implementing a program aimed at executing human resource processes efficiently and quickly. In cases where disparities of any kind arise, there is a regular process of validation by all relevant echelons. This program will promote real change in the field of human resources.

7. During the past year, a number of procedures have been carried out to improve and accuracy the inlay, among other things, refreshment and updating of the respective sorting tools. The IDF is working to integrate new tools that will enable maximum inlay accuracy with a change in perception and transition to accurate inlay based on broader criteria.

8. The food system is active and will continue to work at all times to improve the response to the unique populations in the IDF.

9. The IDF considers the reserve system to be of utmost importance and works extensively for the recognition of the array. In recent times, the technological systems have been upgraded in a way that makes the information available to the reserve officers.

10. The IDF, as a citizen's army, makes sure to provide all of its servants with the conditions necessary to maintain their lifestyle according to the nature of the military service.

11. After receiving a request regarding the change of policy and the waiting time, the IDF acted immediately to amend the policy in accordance with the provisions of the army orders.




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