IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi decided on Thursday evening to rebuke the commander of former West Bank Division, Brigadier General Yair Golan, and to freeze his promotion, due to the findings of a Military Police investigation launched following various reports of the use the 'human shield procedure' in the West Bank.
During the procedure, Palestinians are asked to try and convince neighboring suspected terrorists to give themselves up.
Golan was a leading candidate to soon receive the rank of major general, and he was linked with the role of the prime minister's military secretary. But his promotion was put on hold until the investigation ends.
The investigation is focused on operation 'Hot Winter' carried out by the IDF in Nablus in April 2007. Investigators are checking to see whether soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields. A video clip from the Associated Press shows soldiers leading a Palestinian to a home with their weapons pointed at him.
Military Police investigators attempted to see whether senior officers in the Central Command, and perhaps higher up, authorized the use of the procedure despite knowing that the IDF had forbidden it.
The IDF Military Advocate General, Brigadier General Avi Mandelblit, decided that there was no basis for submitting a charge against Golan, but materials collected during the investigation suggested that as commander of forces in the area, failures did occur under his watch, including the use of the 'human shield procedure'.
The procedure was outlawed by the High Court, a decision also adopted by the IDF.
Golan today serves in a temporary position as project manager in the IDF's operational branch.
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report