The entirety of the 51st battalion of the Golani brigade walked out of training on Tuesday in protest of the removal of their commander from his position.
His transfer out of the unit was precipitated by being deemed unfit for the job.
The soldiers put their weapons inside the training building on their base and left. They were then called for a disciplinary conversation. The Golani soldiers emphasized the fact that they did not leave their weapons unattended, they left them under the supervision of others.
They explained that they walked out because of the treatment their battalion has been getting. Per their statement: "We are tired of being silent. For a long time, we have been disrespected by the battalions responsible for us."
They also said that "the straw that broke the camel's back" was the transfer of their commander, who they referred to as "a father [to us] these last four months. [He] brought the battalion to heights that nobody had seen before."
"We are not doing this in order to negatively impact [national] security," they said. "We are just tired of the current situation."
One of the soldiers told Walla News that the battalion has always felt that they were treated differently. "We always felt we were less than the others," he said. "There was always a feeling that we were second-class."
"This is a serious incident that is not in line with IDF values," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement. "The incident is being investigated and dealt with."
בהמשך לאירוע בגולני, מדובר באירוע חמור שלא עולה בקנה אחד עם ערכי צה״ל והמצופה מחיילי צה״ל. האירוע מתוחקר ויטופל— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) April 18, 2023
Golani in the media
The 51st Battalion has made news in recent months and years, mostly for disciplinary violations.
A violent physical altercation occurred at the Harsina outpost at the Jewish settlement in Hebron in late January between the deputy commander of the Yehuda Brigade, and a police officer, as well as soldiers from the Golani 51st battalion manning the outpost.
According to initial reports of the incident, Golani fighters beat the officer, whose rank is lieutenant colonel, with kicks and punches.
This prompted decisive disciplinary action from IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.
In 2019, nine soldiers from the 51st were incarcerated for refusing orders on the Gaza front in response to the dismissal of one of their peers.