TEL AVIV (Jan. 31)
The Israel Defense Force admitted Tuesday that junior officers in a few basic-training camps “sometimes beat and harass recruits.”
The admission followed the inspection of six training camps by a team of senior IDF officers assigned by the chief of staff to investigate complaints.
“Only a few cases” of misconduct were found in three of the camps, an IDF spokesman told reporters at a news conference.
He insisted they were in no way connected to the recently publicized suicides of soldiers who allegedly had been harassed by their superiors or their peers.
Disciplinary action has been taken against officers found guilty of abusive conduct toward soldiers under their command, the spokesman said.
The news conference was called after Ha’a-retz’s respected military correspondent, Ze’ev Schiff, disclosed that a “very serious” report on abuse was submitted to the army chief of staff.
According to Schiff, the report said that commanders at many training bases were found to “degrade soldiers, sometimes to a point verging on brutality.” Schiff said in some cases, soldiers had been beaten.