Company commander removed from post after causing coronavirus outbreak in unit

IDF says officer from elite Duvdevan commando brigade "knowingly" infected others with virus.

IDF technicians carry out coroanvirus testing, Israel, July 15, 2020 (photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
IDF technicians carry out coroanvirus testing, Israel, July 15, 2020
(photo credit: YOSSI ZELIGER/FLASH90)
The company commander of a unit belonging to the elite Duvdevan Commando brigade was dismissed from his position after he violated quarantine regulations and infected over two dozen soldiers in his unit with the coronavirus, the military said.
The company commander, who became infected with the virus after he came into contact with his deputy, was supposed to self-quarantine but took part in prayer services with the rest of his unit, which was quarantining as a capsule, at the base’s synagogue on Yom Kippur.
As a result, 27 soldiers in the unit were also diagnosed with the virus.
Following the outbreak, the commander of the commando brigade, Col. Kobi Heller, opened an investigation that was presented to the 98th division commander Brig.-Gen. Ofer Winter.
“The conclusions of the investigation show that the company commander did not tell the truth to the unit’s doctor during the epidemiological investigation and knowingly endangered the soldiers by staying with them when he was meant to be in quarantine,” the IDF said.
“The division commander noted that the company commander acted in a way that is unbecoming of an IDF commander, did not tell the truth in his interrogation, did not remain in quarantine despite being required to do so and thus knowingly put all of his soldiers at risk,” the statement continued. “This is not the behavior expected of a company commander.”
Heller recommended that the officer be removed from his position following the inquiry, a move that was accepted by Winter, who instructed that the findings of this event be shared with the other units in the division.
While the number of cases among the civilian population is on the decline, there are 1,095 service members who have been diagnosed with the virus and another 4,870 in quarantine.
Within the IDF there have been outbreaks of the virus at several bases, 10 of which have been labeled as “red” due to the high infection rate. There have been outbreaks at the Bahad 1 officer’s training base, at the Kfir and Nahal training bases, Camp Dotan (Base 80), and the Air Force’s 253rd Negev Squadron at Ramon airbase.