Seven combat soldiers from the Golani
Brigade were sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in military detention after abandoning a post in the Israel-Egypt
border last week.
The combatants abandoned the post in protest of what they defined as misconduct by their officers, including slander and deprivation of proper accommodation.
"Something is wrong in the way things are handled, both professionally and socially," said a family member of one of the soldiers, noting, for example, that "in the desert, in 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), they throw them away from air-conditioned rooms to scorching rooms, so that they can give the air-conditioned rooms to soldiers from another unit."
According to a senior officer with the brigade, however, what the soldiers deemed misconduct was in fact disciplinary measures taken by the officers against the brigade's hazing
customs. "We are trying to send a clear message against soldiers abusing their status of seniority and make clear that there are only two statuses: soldiers and officers," he stressed, referring to recent incidents in which senior soldiers abused novice soldiers.
The senior IDF
officer added that the brigade "made it clear a week and a half ago to the combatants who faced trial this morning – in a conversation… in which they demanded that they be exempt from cleaning duty and that the seniors lounge be reinstated – that the company commander also cleans and that they would receive partial exemptions."
He added that during the conversation, the soldiers insisted on benefits even if these meant that other soldiers carried twice the load.
Addressing the conditions under which the soldiers were serving, the officer said "the post is fine. Some of the officers also don’t have air-conditioning."
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