Combat troops who arrived at a central Israeli training base a few weeks ago were shocked to find objectionable conditions awaiting them, including open sewage, worms in the kitchen and rotting showers, Ynet has learned.
The soldiers said in an interview that they found dog corpses strewn around the base, as well as live rabid dogs, camels, and flee-infested donkeys roaming the facility freely. The bathrooms were in disrepair, they said, and the fences surrounding the base were broken.
"I don't understand how anyone can survive under such extreme conditions. I know it's not one of the big bases, and its location is remote, but that's no excuse to neglect it this way," one soldier exclaimed.
He said that he and the fellow unit members were awoken one night when a camel poked his head through the window into their barracks. "It was really strange and scary," he said.
The base is normally unmanned and serves different units for training purposes once every few months.
Another soldier said that the substandard environment poses a "mortal danger."
"The army's maintenance control is worthless," he said. "They haven't invested even the minimal resources required to keep a base where hundreds of soldiers must eat, drink, train and sleep."
Another soldier noted that the situation at the base was far worse than anything he has ever encountered.
"Showers don't have to be new, and the kitchen doesn't have to look like a pharmacy," he said, "After everything we go through, after weeks on the field, any base feels like a hotel. But this kind of negligence and stench are unbearable."
The army's complaints commission was informed of the situation and launched an inquiry, finding that the soldiers' claims were not exaggerated. The IDF
has launched an effort to clean up and renovate the base. A logistics officer was assigned to deal with the units who train at the site.
"The infrastructure issue at the training base has been taken care of," an IDF spokesperson said. "(…) We have also taken care of the sanitation conditions; the base has been disinfested, the fences have been fixed and the corpses have been removed."