New IDF guidelines: No ceremonies to be held under the midday sun

At a recent ceremony on an army base near Be'er Sheva, officers took away soldiers' water bottles. One soldier fainted from heat exhaustion.

Kobi Finkler ,

Soldiers at army base (illustrative)
Soldiers at army base (illustrative)
Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

The IDF has revised its guidelines for the holding of official ceremonies after receiving several complaints lodged by soldiers that they were forced to stand for long hours under the hot summer sun.

The head of the IDF’s safety department, Gen. Nir Yogev, has distributed a document regarding the holding of official ceremonies and other events in the summer heat.

According to the new rules, ceremonies are only to be held after six p.m. or in the cooler morning hours, and not in the midday heat. In addition, only officers of the rank of lieutenant colonel or above will be able to authorize ceremonies or events, and they are to take into account weather conditions when deciding whether to let ceremonies go ahead, and also to ensure that a medical team is available to treat any soldiers in need of medical attention at such times.

At a recent ceremony at the Nevatim army base near Be'er Sheva, soldiers had the water bottles they were holding taken away from them, and they were also not allowed to wear hats or sunglasses to protect them from the sun and intense heat. Soldiers who requested permission to drink were allegedly told they would have to wait until after the conclusion of the ceremony. One of the female soldiers present fainted from heat exhaustion and was taken to the base’s medical clinic to recover.