Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered all IDF
units to cancel their traditional Passover breaks so that they can operate in full capacity over the upcoming holdiay, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.
The implication of the decision is that for the first time in many years, all IDF units will maintain their regular operations and remain on full alert throughout the holiday.
As result of the unexpected decision, thousands of soldiers at various IDF headquarters and bases will have to report for duty as usual in order to allow their units to operate with no interruption.
No break for army - IDF tanks (Photo: AFP)
IDF officials dismissed suggestions that the decision is related to operational circumstances or preparations for military maneuvers. The army said Chief of Staff Gantz made the call after asserting that he does not accept the notion of an army-wide Passover vacation.
However, IDF soldiers who received the news Tuesday could not be convinced that the timing of the decision was arbitrary.
Notably, German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Tuesday said that after meeting Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak,
he was more concerned about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran.
Over the years, an army-wide break during Passover became a tradition followed by all major military units, including the Air Force, Navy and intelligence corps. The IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv is also traditionally deserted during the holiday.
But as noted, the longtime tradition will be broken this year, as soldiers will have to divide their vacation days among themselves in order to ensure that their units maintain their full capacity to operate if needed.