IDF announces round of new appointments, including Druze officer

Another appointment announced on Monday was that of Col.Israel Shomer who will become the Nahal Brigade Commander three years after he shot and killed a Palestinian youth.

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August 6, 2018 13:58
3 minute read.
A member of the Druze community holds a Druze flag as he speaks to an Israeli soldier near the borde

A member of the Druze community holds a Druze flag as he speaks to an Israeli soldier near the border fence between Syria and the Golan Heights, near Majdal Shams June 18, 2015. Gathered at a hilltop in the Golan Heights, a group of Druze sheikhs look through binoculars at the Syrian village of Hade. (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

The IDF on Monday announced 20 senior appointments to units across the armed forces, including a Druze officer and an IDF officer who shot and killed a Palestinian youth three years ago.

Col. Hisham Ibrahim, the deputy commander of the Galilee Division, was appointed commander of the 460th Armored Brigade at the Shizafon training base in the Negev, becoming one of the most senior combat officers from the Druze community.



“I am happy to return to the command post in the 460th Armored Brigade, and to take a significant part in a leading an important force in the next campaign,” Ibrahim said in a statement released by the military.

“I look forward to continuing to instill at an early stage the values of the IDF. I am proud to continue to contribute to Israel’s security and to the IDF’s ability to win. “ Ibrahim’s promotion comes as Druze – which as a minority group serves in large numbers in the IDF including its most elite units – have protested against the Nation-State law passed July 19, saying that it breaks the traditional “covenant of blood” between Israel and the Druze.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.Gadi Eisenkot has called on soldiers and commanders to leave political disputes over bill outside the army, stating that “as a national army whose mission is to protect the security of the people of Israel and to win wars, we are committed to preserving human dignity, regardless of origin, religion or gender.”

Another appointment announced on Monday was that of Col. Israel Shomer who will become the Nahal Brigade Commander three years after he killed a Palestinian youth who threw a large stone at his car.

Shomer shot dead 17 yearold Mohammed Ali al-Kasbeh on July 3, 2015 after the youth hurled a rock at his vehicle at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, smashing the windshield.

Then commander of the Binyamin Brigade in the West Bank, Shomer got out of his vehicle and shot al-Kasbeh who was running away, hitting him in the back. Human rights organization B’Tselem alleged that Shomer’s conduct had been wrongful due to failing to bring Kasbeh to a hospital once he was wounded.

The Military Police then opened an investigation to determine if Shomer had followed the rules of engagement during the incident.

The chief IDF prosecutor later determined that Shomer’s shooting was justified and “did not cross the line into criminal activity” but noted that his firing while moving and not from a stationary position was a professional error which led him to miss Kasbeh’s legs and instead fatally hit him in the back.

Also announced Monday was the appointment of Kfir Brigade head Col. Zion Ratzon to serve as the Southern Command’s chief of staff. Ratzon will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and will be replaced by Col. Eran Oliel.

Other promotions included: Col. Yuval Guez who was appointed commander of the Paratroopers Brigade; Col. Yitzhak (Itzik) Cohen who was appointed commander of the Givati Brigade; Col. Guy Levy who was appointed commander of the Bahad 1 officers school; Col. Avi Rosenfeld who will command the infantry warfare school; Col. Yitzhak Nimni who has been appointed the commander of the School of Combat Engineering; Col.

Manor Yanai was appointed to command the Yahalom special engineering unit; and Col. “D.” was appointed commander of the Shayetet 13 naval commando unit.

All of the appointments are conditional upon the approval of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.


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