Israel’s military is unprepared for extended operations in Judea and Samaria, the state comptroller warned Sunday, urging that steps be taken to prepare the IDF.
State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman conducted surprise visits in August to IDF bases and positions in Samaria, the State Comptroller’s Office revealed in a report Sunday, finding that the army is logistically unprepared for lengthy operations in Judea and Samaria.
“The IDF is not sufficiently prepared, logistically, for extended fighting in Judea and Samaria,” the report warned.
The report comes as Israeli security forces continue the months-long “Operation Break the Wave”, a counter-terror crackdown in Judea and Samaria, which has led to the arrests of over 1,600 terror suspects.
The operation was launched in response to a string of deadly terror attacks across Israel, as well as the continuing shooting attacks in Samaria.
The latest such attack, which took place Sunday morning near the town of Elon Moreh, left an Israeli taxi driver wounded.
“In recent weeks, the IDF has been carrying out important combat operations in Judea and Samaria,” wrote Englman. “It is presumed that this rolling operation will continue for an extended period of time. We are carrying out inspections this year of living conditions for regular soldiers and reservists; for which I carried out surprise visits.”
Englman paid surprise visits to training facilities in the Jordan Valley area used by the Kfir Brigade, as well as an army position near the Israeli town of Yakir, in Samaria.
In his report on IDF readiness, Englman wrote that soldiers complained of poor living conditions, and noted that they lacked equipment necessary for field operations, including both weapons and combat vehicles.
“There is no reason reserve soldiers should not receive their food as required during the first week of operations,” Englman charged.
“A situation in which soldiers are left without a source of water that isn’t boiling hot while serving at a base in the Jordan Valley where temperatures are 104 degrees [40 Celsius], while they are forced to rely on ineffective air conditioners, some of which are broken due to budget shortfalls, is unacceptable.”
The state comptroller further noted the decline in food quality at the Yakir base due to crowding, after a second battalion was stationed there.
In a statement responding to the report, the IDF acknowledged that it has not upgraded all of its facilities in Judea and Samaria to handle the increased demands of the ongoing operation, but claimed that some of the issues noted in the report are already being addressed.
“The IDF has over the past few months increased its presence in Judea and Samaria with a large number of combat battalions, technological measures, and advanced techniques as part of Operation Break the Wave to foil and prevent terror attacks.”
“The IDF does not maintain expanded infrastructure for all aspects of readiness, given the high costs. That being said, in cases where reinforcement is necessary, it takes time to properly absorb the reinforcing units. The Kfir Brigade’s training bases are being upgraded and refurbished this year, and it will continue into the next year, as was already announced before the visit to the base.”
“The IDF is investing significant resources to improve infrastructure and living conditions for IDF soldiers, with an emphasis on instructional facilities, training camps, bases, and army outposts.”
“The IDF’s combat preparedness on all fronts is high. Regarding the two bases which were visited, the shortcomings do not impact combat readiness or capabilities of the forces. Some of the report’s findings were already addressed immediately after the visit, and the remainder are being addressed.”