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IDF Said to Have Learned Riot Control

January 12, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Israel Defense Force was neither trained nor equipped for riot control, but it adapted well when faced with the violence in the administered territories during the past month, according to Maj. Gen. Shlomo Errell, recently retired comptroller of the defense establishment.

Errell, a reservist and former navy commander, told a news conference Monday in Haifa that “the army never thought it would be called on to deal with the maintenance of order, to stand against events on the scale as we have experienced in the territories in recent weeks.”

He observed that “a soldier, trained as a tank man or a gunner, is taught how to use the most sophisticated equipment and must also carry out reconnaissance and patrol duties in the (south Lebanon) security zone. And then, a fully trained 19-year-old boy like that is suddenly sent to Gaza and told to maintain order there.

“That’s not a simple matter, it must be learned and the equipment must be matched specially for such activities. That’s a new task for which the IDF was not trained,” he said.

“But from what I can see of what has happened in recent weeks, and the speed with which it was carried out, the IDF has managed to adapt itself.”

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