Colonel Barak Hiram
Colonel Barak HiramIDF spokesperson

The commander of the Golani Brigade, Colonel Barak Hiram, has written to all Golani fighters and officers regarding the recent incident following which a Golani fighter was retired from the army in disgrace after failing to open fire at a terrorist.

“Last Saturday night, a Golani fighter failed in his duty when a terrorist threw a firebomb at him,” Hiram wrote. “The terrorist succeeded in escaping from the scene and was only apprehended a few hours later in a joint IDF-Shabak operation.”

The IDF’s investigation of the incident revealed that the soldier, who initially assumed the approaching terrorist wanted to stab him, acted correctly in seeking to engage him rather than opening fire, but that “he failed in his duty when he refrained from opening fire at the terrorist even after he had thrown the firebomb and endangered his life.”

Hiram added that the fact that the fighter went down by himself to investigate the suspicious vehicle “was in breach of regulations.” He had spotted a car driving back and forth and went to see what was going on – only then did the Arab terrorist emerge and throw a firebomb toward him.

“In the wake of the incident and the investigation following it, I spoke with the fighter and decided to remove him from his position as Golani fighter,” Hiram continued, stressing that it had been no easy decision to make as “this was a good soldier who had succeeded in all his missions to date.”

All the same, he noted that “engaging the enemy and eliminating him is a fundamental value in the Golani Brigade and all our fighters have a definite responsibility to ensure that this results from every encounter with enemy forces.

“I am sure that you all feel the same distress that I feel at this incident,” he concluded, “while simultaneously understanding that this is the way things are in the Golani Brigade.”