Controversial commander’s promotion draws criticism

Col. Itay Virob was reprimanded two years ago for saying using physical force to restrain Palestinians during arrest operations was permissible.

By
August 16, 2011 04:17
1 minute read.
IDF chief of General Staff Benny Gantz [file]

Benny Gantz 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


He will be promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and will serve as the IDF’s next chief infantry and paratroopers officer.

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 division commander.

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 Nablus.

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 client.



“The MAG closed the case against Col. Virob after the Military Police investigation found that he did not commit a crime,” Savoray said.

“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.

Related Content

idf hebron
August 22, 2014
Palestinians throw Molotov cocktail at IDF checkpoint in Hebron

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZAROFF