Officers disciplined after violating coronavirus regulations

A company commander and team commander for training communications soldiers was removed from his position after allowing the group to break regulations set forth to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ir Habahadim, or the “city of training bases," (photo credit: SHARON UDASIN)
Ir Habahadim, or the “city of training bases,"
(photo credit: SHARON UDASIN)
Ten IDF soldiers were sentenced to 10 days in a military prison after being documented violating the coronavirus restrictions and congregating in a large group during the Passover Seder at their base.
The soldiers, from the Lotem unit that introduces advanced technology into combat operation, were documented celebrating the holiday in a large crowd in an enclosed space at their base in the South.
The incident was aired by Israel’s N12 news and led to an internal IDF investigation headed by the commander of  the C4I and Cyber Defense Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Lior Carmeli, who decided on the disciplinary measures.
The conclusions of the report were presented to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who has stressed the importance of adhering to the guidelines set by the Health Ministry.
“Towards the end of the Seder, a group of soldiers acted contrary to the regulations and assembled in a manner contrary to orders,” the military said, adding that in light of the severity of the incident, those involved will be dismissed from combat positions.”
The soldiers were also dismissed from training and two of their commanders, the company and platoon leaders, have also been disciplined and transferred from their positions.
Just a few days ago, Kochavi made a surprise inspection of the Ir HaBadim military base and called on commanders to properly enforce the regulations.
“We have a huge responsibility to make sure the new guidelines are implemented properly,” he said. “This is due to our commitment to keeping you healthy, as well as our commitment to your parents - soldiers and commanders. We have to make every effort to remain healthy.”
While the IDF has scaled back the number of nonessential soldiers on bases in an effort to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, all combat troops have been ordered to remain on base at all times in an attempt to reduce exposure to infection.
Base commanders have been instructed to abide by the regulations, but dozens of incidents have emerged of hundreds of soldiers in bases around the country failing to maintain social distancing.
Several photos leaked two weeks ago led to an internal military investigation, and Kochavi warned of a “harsh response” should there be any future failures to keep distances.
One soldier, who had been stationed at a base where a kashrut overseer had been diagnosed with the highly infectious virus told The Jerusalem Post that “the regulations are barely being enforced.”
The man, who had been working at the IDF’s El Poran military base in the Golan Heights, was diagnosed with the virus after preparing food for hundreds of troops for at least a week.
There are a total of 115 soldiers diagnosed with the coronavirus and another 2,876 troops in quarantine. Another 37 have fully recovered from the virus and have returned to their units.