Golani 51 commander: Death before capture

IDF won't charge commander who told troops to kill themselves in case of being caught in Gaza.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 26, 2009 20:43
2 minute read.
Golani 51 commander: Death before capture

golani 248.88. (photo credit: IDF [file])

 
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 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The IDF does not plan to bring disciplinary charges against a battalion commander from the Golani Brigade who told his soldiers that they needed to do everything possible to prevent being kidnapped during the recent operation in Gaza including blowing themselves up with a grenade. In a tape recording of a briefing the commander of Battalion 51 gave his soldiers before entering Gaza during Operation Cast Lead the senior officer was heard saying: "Hamas's strategic weapon is to kidnap a soldier and I don't have to tell you but no soldier from Battalion 51 gets kidnapped at any price and under any situation even if it means that he has to blow up his grenade together with those who are trying to kidnap him." "We are going to explain to the Palestinian enemies what it means to mess with Israel. It is important that you understand we are going into a war. The coiled spring of Battalion 51 is going to pop in the face of these Palestinians," he is heard saying in the recording. Military sources who heard the entire recording of the briefing, part of which was aired on Channel 10, said Monday that it was clear that the officer did not mean that soldiers should commit suicide but that he was trying to motivate them before they entered the Gaza Strip. The IDF was however looking into how a recording of the briefing was leaked to Channel 10. "In the name of these values we fight, and in their name we shall win," 51's commander is heard telling the men at the end of the recording. One source said, "It was clearly a pep talk and the officer has received the IDF's full support… What he said was not mean to be taken literally." During Operation Cast Lead, Hamas tried kidnapping soldiers on a number of occasions. In one case, a soldier from an Engineering Corps unit fought face-to-face with two Hamas gunmen who tried pulling him into a tunnel. In another case, a group of soldiers were injured in a booby-trapped home and another unit stormed the building after there was a tunnel inside that Hamas planned to use to kidnap some of the wounded soldiers. The commander of Battalion 51, who cannot be identified due to IDF restrictions on officers who participated in the operation, is a respected officer who served in several command posts in Golani's elite Egoz Unit. Following the Second Lebanon War, the officer, who is religious, became deputy head of the battalion and replaced Maj. Roi Klein, who was killed in Bint Jbail after he jumped on a grenade that was thrown into a home where he was together with several soldiers, saving their lives.

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

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN