Half of the Troops Simply Walked Out – Israeli Army Crisis Deepens

An Israeli rescue unit transports wounded soldiers. (Photo: video grab).

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The crisis in the Israeli army is deepening, not only due to the stiff Palestinian Resistance in Gaza, but due to the fact that many Israeli soldiers are simply refusing to join the battlefield in the first place. 

This phenomenon began in late November, when two Israeli officers were dismissed from the army for reportedly running away, along with their unit, from the Gaza battlefield, claiming that they did not receive support after being ambushed by dozens of Palestinian fighters.

This time, however, nearly half of a newly-formed battalion has simply refused to go to Gaza claiming lack of training, the KAN program ‘Hazet Hayom’ reported on Wednesday. 

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“Reservist fighters who were called to training ahead of the establishment of the ‘Hashomer’ Brigade (…) severely criticized the serious gaps in equipment, professionalism, the lack of manpower and especially the fact that in the middle of the training they were informed that they were entering the Gaza Strip without having trained as required,” the report said.

“To the astonishment of the fighters, the Major General announced that it had been decided to bring the battalion (…) deep in the Strip ‘without preparation’,” it added.

Some volunteers simply left the training, alleging the lack of trust and equipment, according to KAN. We are “not ready to take responsibility,” they said, before they left. 

Though the Israeli army claims that 593 Israeli soldiers have been killed and over 3,000 were wounded since the start of the war, medical estimates published in respected Israeli newspapers indicate that numbers are much higher. 

According to a report published by the Israeli news website Walla, 4,000 Israeli soldiers have become disabled since the beginning of the war and estimates suggest that the number could rise to 30,000.

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Ghosts of Gaza 

Various videos, which went viral on social media, showed Israeli soldiers speaking about what they have experienced in Gaza.

“We are fighting ghosts in Gaza,” was a line used repeatedly, first by Israeli soldiers, then by Israeli media. 

The reference to the Gaza ‘ghosts’ was related to the guerilla war tactics which Palestinian Resistance uses while fighting invading Israeli soldiers.

Aside from the physical injuries, many Israeli soldiers are suffering from deep and debilitating psychological traumas.

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Soldiers without Shirts 

What is interesting about the Hashomer Brigade is that, according to an Israeli army spokesman, quoted by KAN, it is “a reserve brigade that was established about a month ago in the shadow of the war, in response to an operational need for defense.”

The main mission of this brigade is to “recognize logistical and medical gaps that are being treated.”

Due to the infrastructure of military personnel, a brigade is not able to function without half of its troops, as each soldier serves a specific function in each unit. 

This indicates that the Israeli military, which suffered heavy losses on October 7 at the hands of the Palestinian Resistance, is still unable to overcome its rooted problems which led to that initial defeat. 

But according to the reports, the problem is even bigger than this. 

“There are soldiers who until a day and a half before entering did not have a second shirt or shoes,” an Israeli reserve soldier named D. told KAN.

“There are no medics, no vests, the fighters don’t know each other. It is incomprehensible how they wanted to introduce such a force into the Strip – unqualified in the full sense of the word,” the soldier reportedly added.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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