IDF opens 2nd course to train population liaison officers

Week-long course aimed at helping Israel minimize harm to civilians during future operations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

April 4, 2011 07:00
1 minute read.
IDF Soldiers

IDF Soldiers 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)


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 analysis 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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


As Israel continued Sunday to call on the United Nations to cancel the Goldstone Report, the IDF opened the second course for a new military post that has been established within combat brigades and battalions and is aimed at helping Israel minimize harm to civilians during future operations in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon.

Called population liaison officer, the post is filled by reservists with the rank of captain or major.

The week-long course is being held at the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) school inside the Tzrifin Base near Rishon Lezion.

The timing of the opening of the second course coincided with Judge Richard Goldstone’s announcement in a Washington Post oped over the weekend that he no longer believed that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in 2009.

The first course was held in October. During the course, officers are trained to recognize situations that could potentially cause damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure in a combat zone.

In October, commander of the COGAT school, Lt.-Col. Hatib Mansour told The Jerusalem Post that if such officers had been deployed inside IDF battalions during Operation Cast Lead two years ago, it was possible that the criticism against Israel would not have been as severe.

“If there would have been officers like these in the battalions I cannot say that there would not have been a Goldstone Report but it would have spared some of the problems and minimized the damage to Israel afterwards,” he said at the time.

In addition to establishing a new position, the IDF has also instituted new doctrinal changes for ground forces, creating new rules of engagement for the way soldiers should operate when entering populated areas in a future operation.

One example are new plans that have been drawn up by the IDF on how to evacuate entire Palestinian villages and refugee camps from areas of conflict in the event of a future Israeli incursion into Gaza.

The new plans draw on some of the experiences from Cast Lead, and were drawn up as part of an IDF attempt to prevent large-scale damage to civilian infrastructure in a future operation.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

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


Cookie Settings