Officer reprimanded for arrest procedure

Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan rebuked for using "Preliminary Warning," a procedure banned for its use of civilians.

Ashkenazi 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Ashkenazi 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi reprimanded Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Yair Golan on Thursday for making use of a procedure known as "preliminary warning," which has been banned from use by the General Staff, during operations in the West Bank, the IDF said. "Preliminary warning," which is derived from the "neighbor procedure," is a protocol during which terror suspects are warned by local residents or family members that they have been targeted for arrest. The procedure is meant to give innocent civilians the opportunity to extract themselves from the vicinity of the suspects and give the suspects the option of turning themselves in. The "neighbor procedure" was outlawed by the High Court of Justice, which ruled that the practice made use of civilians as "human shields" and was thus in violation of international law. The army, however, claimed the procedure lowered the risk of civilian casualties, since suspects would think twice before opening fire if an acquaintance, rather than IDF troops, were knocking at the door. The reprimand arrived after a Military Police investigation revealed that Golan had not only acted against regulations but had also failed to notify his commanders of his actions. It was also decided that Golan's promotion would be frozen for the next nine months. Golan told the chief of staff that he had used the procedure in order to assist the soldiers with the operational intricacies they were faced with, and added that his objective throughout had been the preservation of human life. "The Military Advocate General appreciated the fact that Brig.-Gen. Golan's decisions reduced the risk to the local population and its property and prevented the loss of human lives," read a statement issued by the IDF. "The Military Advocate General also noted the fact that Brig.-Gen. Golan had given the order in only a small number of cases relative to the many arrests that were conducted during that period." The statement added that Golan had taken "full responsibility for his actions."