Armored Corps soldiers abused by commanders
Several new inductees to 188 Brigade suffer severe beating as part of hazing ceremony. Company commander, officers involved sentenced to various jail, detention periods following inquest. 'IDF will not tolerate such behavior from its soldiers,' says army source
Severe abuse in the Armored Corps: Several newly inducted soldiers placed with one of the Israeli Defense Forces' Armored Corps brigades were subjected to abuse by their squad commanders as part of a hazing ceremony, Ynet learned Friday.
The soldiers were beaten by seven other servicemen, to the point of suffering substantial bruising and scarring. The event, described as extremely violent, was apparently sanctioned by the company commander, though he did not participate in it personally.
The incident took place in a company which is a part of the Armored Crops' 188 Brigade. The father of one of the soldiers abused told Ynet that while his son was initially reluctant to say how he was hurt, he eventually told him that he and nine other soldiers were subject to a beating.
"They were forced to just stay there like sitting ducks, completely unable to defend themselves, while the others beat them and laugh," he said.
The 10, he said, were severely traumatized, and were able to restore some of their faith in their commanding officers only after learning that the culprits were punished by military authorities.
The brigade commander ordered a full inquest into the case and his investigation found that the officers' actions were in gross breach of IDF norms.
The company commander, a captain, was tried by the commander of the 36th Armored Division (the Ga'ash Division) and sent to 30 days in the brig. He is also facing a dismissal, despite the fact he did not take an active part in the hazing.
Other officers involved in the incident were sentenced to various jail terms. All of them will face a military review board once the serve their sentence, in order to determine their future in the IDF.
'Incident inconsistent with brigade's spirit, ethics'
Military sources said that the grievous nature of the case led the IDF to take what could be considered intransigent action in order to make it clear that it will not tolerate such behavior from its soldiers.
The IDF Spokesman's Unit offered the following comment: "The Armored Corps has recently revealed several unusual incidents of violence and humiliation.
"The brigade and division commanders launched comprehensive inquiries into this incident. In accordance with the findings several steps were taken in order to eradicate this phenomenon, beginning with disciplinary action against those involved, who were sentences to various jail and detention times. Some of them were also removed from the company.
"The company commander was suspended from duty, tried and sentenced to jail. In addition, a team headed by the deputy brigade commander was formed in order to prevent such event form reoccurring, both in the Armored Corps and the IDF.
"The IDF wishes to stress that this was a grievous event which is inconsistent with the brigade's history, accomplishments, spirit and ethics."