Israeli Army Mistakenly Sends Release Message to Thousands of Reservists

An hour later, the military crafts a second text telling the troops the bad news.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Israeli reserve soldiers are seen on the top of an armored personnel carrier retunring to Israel from Gaza Strip, southern Israel, Aug. 4, 2014.
Israeli reserve soldiers are seen on the top of an armored personnel carrier retunring to Israel from Gaza Strip, southern Israel, Aug. 4, 2014.Credit: AP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Thousands of army reservists still serving under emergency call-up orders received a text message Sunday mistakenly telling them they were being released.

About one hour later, the Israel Defense Forces sent out another notice, saying the earlier text was a mistake. The first message, sent out at around 1:30 P.M., read: “With your release from reserve duty, the IDF thanks you for your participation in the operation and your contribution to the defense of Israel’s citizens.”

The message directed the thousands of reservists doing routine security duties in the north, south and West Bank to a special Web page to ascertain their rights. Many reservists who asked their commanders if they were really being released were confused when the answer was no.

The raised hopes were dashed at around 3 P.M., when the army sent out its second message: “The SMS you received was in error; please confirm your release date with your commanders.”

The military drafted some 82,000 reservists during Operation Protective Edge, most of them to do routine security duties while regular-army troops did the fighting. After the soldiers were withdrawn from Gaza, the IDF released tens of thousands of reservists, but thousands of others are still on duty.

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