The Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, approved on Monday a recommendation to dismiss an officer and a sergeant in the elite Duvdevan undercover unit of the Israeli army after they and two other soldiers refused to carry an arrest invasion into the West Bank city of Jenin.
Israel Army Forces Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, approved on Monday a recommendation to dismiss the officer and the sergeant in the elite Duvdevan undercover unit they, along with two other soldiers, refused to carry the military orders.
Halutz received both the report findings regarding the dismissal of the team commander from the unit as well as one of the team’s soldiers, who served as a sergeant, and a report by a special committee appointed to probe the affair, headed by Colonel Nitzan Alon.
The two officers will also face a ban from holding any future higher position in the army.
The two other soldiers would be able to serve as fighters in other infantry units at the Israeli army, but not in Duvdevan under-cover forces.
The officer and three soldiers refused to carry the Jenin mission at the end of November 2005, because on a previous mission in the area they had come under Palestinian fire and had to wait long until they army interred the area an evacuated them.
The military chief also approved recommendations to discipline the overall commander of the unit, Lieutenant Colonel "A" and examine the "suitability for command of another of the unit’s officers, a captain".
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that the two soldiers were facing emotional distress before they refused to conduct the mission, and their division did not deal with this issue fast enough.
Also, Halutz added that unit commanders should have been more alerted and attentive to the soldiers’ emotional conditions.
He slammed the harsh measures employed by the unit commanders in their discussions with the soldiers, and urged the military to prepare a plan which aims to create an umbrella group of all elite units, including the Duvdevan Special Forces.