Paratroopers - Eli Hershkovitz - 14082011
Paratroopers in training last year. Photo by Eli Hershkovitz
Text size
related tags

A company commander with the rank of captain in the Paratroop Brigade left the Israel Defense Forces last week after soldiers under his command accused him of molesting them. A criminal investigation has not been opened and is considered unlikely, according to judicial sources in the military.

The officer, identified only by the initial A., had been the company commander for eight months, the last two as part of an operational battalion deployed at the northern border.
A number of soldiers reported that A. came into their rooms at night and sometimes touched them inappropriately. Privately, some soldiers spoke of sexually suggestive comments and actions made by the captain during conversations with them.

The complaints made their way up the chain of command, eventually reaching Paratroop Brigade Commander Col. Amir Baram. From initial investigations it was determined that the alleged acts perpetrated by A. “bordered on the criminal” but did not actually constitute sexual assault.

A. tendered his resignation last week in the wake of these investigations. In talks with soldiers under A.’s command Baram and other senior officers emphasized the seriousness of the case and stressed that the soldiers have the right to submit a formal complaint against their former commander. As of Friday, no such complaints were received.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office said in a statement that a company commander in the Paratroop Brigade asked to resign his post following complaints against him of sexual harassment. The request was granted immediately, talks were held with the soldiers and the relevant authorities in the IDF are handling the case, the statement said.