IDF

Comment: New IDF chief choice is highly political

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 26, 2010

Defence Minister Ehud Barak did not lose a moment. Last Thursday night, the police confirmed that none of the members of the IDF General Staff are suspected of writing the "Galant memo" - an apparently forged document setting out Maj Gen Yoav Galant's aggressive strategy for becoming the next chief-of-staff - and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed him that he could legally appoint a new Chief of General Staff (CGS).

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Analysis: No Abu Ghraib photoshoot, but we should all be very concerned

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

The Facebook photos of former IDF Sergeant Eden Abergil's army days drew an inevitable, though ridiculous, comparison this week with the depraved scenes of sexual abuse and torture carried out by American soldiers in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

But in many ways, the images of Abergil posing, smiling, with arrested Palestinian civilians bound and blindfolded in the close background, poses a more difficult and complex moral challenge for the IDF's commanders.

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Embassy gunman threatens to 'kill any Jew'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

A Palestinian man has broken into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and is threatening to kill any Jew who enters the building.

It is believed two people are being held hostage inside the embassy on Hayarkon Street by Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian from Ramallah. One person, thought to be Injaz, has been shot and injured.

Israel Radio said that rescue workers attempted to enter the building but did not bring anyone out.

Injaz was arrested in 2006 after an eight-hour standoff at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, during which he wielded a plastic gun. Nobody was injured in that incident.

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IDF: Facebook army photos 'base and crude'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

The Israeli army has condemned a former soldier who posted photographs of herself with a blindfolded Palestinian on Facebook.

Eden Abergil has claimed she does not understand what she did wrong, but an IDF spokesman called her behaviour “base and crude”.

The spokesman added: "These actions are ugly and callous; details of the incident have been forwarded up the chain of command."

Israeli human rights organisations have also criticised Ms Abergil’s actions.

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The Israeli army 'Gap Yah'

By Paul Berger, August 12, 2010

Gap year students usually spend their 12-month sabbatical between school and university helping the underprivileged or exploring the world. Most never consider another option - joining the IDF.

"The Israeli army has never recruited outside Israel," said Jay Shultz, co-founder of a new organisation, JoinTheIDF.com, which helps diaspora Jews join the Israeli army or the Israeli civil service for a fee of £1,800.

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Israeli soldiers get Shabbat Bluetooth phone

By Nathan Jeffay, August 12, 2010

Inventors have come up with a Bluetooth device for the Israeli Defence Forces, which can make any soldier's mobile phone permissible for use on Shabbat.

Where lives are at risk, such as in the army and in hospitals, special Sabbath innovations are permitted that are not allowed in other contexts.

The new phone device will eliminate the main transgressions associated with telephoning on Shabbat, making it permissible in the army and in hospitals. But the inventors stress that it does not make telephoning for normal social or business purposes acceptable.

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Sadly, such things are to be expected in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

It is not clear whether a criminal offence has been committed in the case of the "Galant Document". If the list of dirty tricks to be used in the campaign for Israel's most prestigious job, Chief of Staff of the IDF, was compiled by an employee of the most powerful PR firm in the country, it won't be a matter for the police or courts. If there was a fabrication or forgery, it still does not feature high on the scale. Someone wrote a to-do list and stuck on a false logo.

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Israeli army gripped by 'dirty tricks' scandal

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

Israeli police are investigating after a plan to undermine IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, and ensure OC Southern Command Major General Yoav Galant replaced him, was unveiled on Channel Two news on Friday night.

The "Galant Document" caused a public uproar and deep embarrassment in the IDF's upper echelons. Lt-Gen Ashkenazi ends his term in February 2011 and the question of his successor has been the subject of intense speculation and rivalry.

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Israeli army chief: flotilla raid 'unprecedented'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 11, 2010

Israel’s chief of staff has told a panel investigating the Mavi Marmara operation that his soldiers behaved in a "proportionate and correct" way.

Appearing before the inquiry, which is headed by retired Supreme Court judge Jacob Turkel, Gabi Ashkenazi said that the circumstances on board the Gaza-bound flotilla had been “unprecedented”. But he added that the commandos had “exhibited calm, bravery and morality.”

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Israeli air exercises go on despite Romania deaths

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 5, 2010

The Israeli Air Force will continue carrying out long-range exercises abroad, despite the helicopter crash last week in Romania in which six Israeli aircrew and one Romanian liaison officer were killed.

Exercise "Blue Skies" was scheduled to take place for two weeks over Romania, but was terminated last Monday when an IAF CH-53 Sea Stallion transport helicopter crashed in the Carpathian Mountains killing all seven on board.

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