IDF Punishes Entire Chain of Command After Har Bracha Attack Fiasco

Two soldiers stabbed while on guard were not carrying their weapons; a search of the guard post revealed backgammon board and candies.

AN IDF guard post at Har Bracha.
Daniel Bar On

An Israel Defense Forces battalion commander in the Kfir Brigade has been reprimanded by OC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa, following the stabbing of two of his soldiers in an attack on a West Bank settlement last week.

The two soldiers were stabbed while at on guard at Har Bracha, a settlement located in the northern West Bank, near Nablus. An investigation found that the soldiers were not carrying their weapons and a search of the guard post revealed a backgammon board and candies.

The IDF said in a statement that the battalion commander had been reprimanded because he bore ultimate responsibility for the incident. Nevertheless, the army appears to be punishing the entire chain of command in the incident.

The batallion commander was the second officer to be punished in the wake of the incident. The commander of the company involved was suspended for a year on Sunday after serious breaches in security were discovered.

In addition, the platoon commander and sergeant in charge of the two soldiers were dismissed from their positions. Action will be taken against the two soldiers, who were moderately and lightly wounded in the attack, once they have recovered from their wounds.

The three attackers managed to escape.

The incident "highlights faults in the way the mission was undertaken and serious deviations from norms and values regarding the safeguarding of personal weapons and devotion to duty," the IDF said in a statement

Brig. Gen. Oren Avman, commander of the 340 Division which includes the Kfir Brigade, accepted the findings and recommendations of the inquiry.