Benny Gantz 311.
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz decided Monday to promote former Kfir Brigade commander
Col. Itay Virob.
Virob was reprimanded two years ago for saying it was
permissible on rare occasions to use physical force to restrain Palestinians
during arrest operations in the West Bank.
He will be promoted to the
rank of brigadier-general and will serve as the IDF’s next chief infantry and
Other appointments included Golani Brigade
commander Col. Ofek Buchris who will become a reserves division commander, and
Nahal Brigade commander Col. Amir Abulafia who will also become a reserves
Virob made the comment during testimony he gave at
the trial of a platoon commander from the brigade who was indicted for attacking
a Palestinian detainee during a military operation in the village of Kadum near
At the time, Virob was reprimanded by commander of the Central
Command and Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit decided to
open a criminal investigation against the former brigade commander following a
petition by Yesh Din.
Lt.-Col. (res.) Oded Savoray, who represented Virob
during his investigation, said Monday the decision to promote Virob was natural
after the Military Police and the MAG closed the case against his
“The MAG closed the case against Col. Virob after the Military
Police investigation found that he did not commit a crime,” Savoray
“Despite the way his remark was understood in court, the
investigation found he never used violence, never ordered his subordinates to
use violence and never supported the use of violence.”
Yesh Din issued a
statement in response to Virob’s promotion saying it sent a wrong message
throughout the IDF.
“The promotion of Col. Virob, who justified
beating innocent civilians, shows the IDF has not internalized the importance of
treating the Palestinian civilian population with respect and how such a move
will be interpreted as justification for the use of violence by younger
officers,” Yesh Din said.