Israeli Military Holds Event for Senior Officers, Flouting COVID Restrictions

Some participants have said that many did not wear masks or observed social distancing rules, while the military is saying COVID restrictions were not violated

Yaniv Kubovich
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IDF event in Jerusalem, January 2021.
IDF event in Jerusalem, January 2021.
Yaniv Kubovich

The military held an indoor event last week in Jerusalem, with the attendance of dozens of participants, including senior officers, and in violation of coronavirus restrictions.

Those who attended the event – which was held in the Friends of Zion Museum as part of a course at Israel's National Defense College – said that many of the participants did not wear masks or observed social distancing rules, while the military said COVID restrictions were not violated.   

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A civilian, who was able to easily join the event and was even served a meal, said the noise was deafening and could be heard in streets outside the building.

The military said in response that “The participants were mostly from the same group, and had been vaccinated. The activity was held at a specific place that had been closed for this purpose, so as not to create contact with outside elements.”

A senior security official present said that the division into small groups in the military was meant to allow operational and emergency actions, and that social activities or any other unnecessary activity was prohibited.

IDF event in Jerusalem, January 2021.

“When all of Israel’s citizens are required to sit at home, and even meetings between soldiers and families are prohibited, there is no call for such a high-level IDF event to take place," the official added.

As of Sunday morning, 2,379 career soldiers, reservists and civilians employed by the IDF have been confirmed as coronavirus carriers. More than 113,000 have received the first dose of the vaccine and more than 25,000 have had the second shot.