Aviv Kochavi
Aviv Kochavi Kobi Richter, TPS

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi decided to register a formal complaint with the commanding officer of the Meitav unit, after being told of a severe breach of the Health Ministry’s rules for social distancing that occurred at the Tel Hashomer draft office.

In a picture that was circulated widely on social media, dozens and possibly even hundreds of soldiers can be seen sitting together in the same hall, in close quarters. An investigation into the incident was launched by the IDF’s head of the Manpower unit, General Moti Almoz, and a separate investigation was conducted by the Deputy Chief of Staff, General Eyal Zamir.

The Chief of Staff accepted the conclusions of the report of the Manpower unit, agreeing that this was a very serious incident and noting that he wanted the IDF to strengthen its adherence to the Health Ministry’s guidelines, and that this applied to all ranks. Kochavi also accepted the recommendations of the Deputy Chief of Staff and registered a formal complaint against the commander of the Meitav unit.

Following this decision, the officer concerned (who has the rank of Colonel) was ordered to a hearing at which he was removed from the command of his unit for a period of 28 days.

Yesterday, the Chief of Staff went into isolation after it was discovered that he had come into contact with an officer who was sick with coronavirus. “I feel fine,” he stated, “but everyone has to adhere to the guidelines.”

He added that he was “proud of the IDF and the way we’re taking the initiative and finding solutions in this crisis period. Most of our units are following the rules properly, but not all of them. Wherever the rules aren’t being followed, we have to tighten the procedures. Otherwise, we endanger not only the lives of our soldiers but also the functioning of the units themselves.”

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