Givati Brigade soldiers in the Shomron were instructed to drink water on Yom Kippur to maintain a ‘ready’ status in the event they are activated to respond to an incident in the area as they were an on-call unit. Two of the soldiers refused to comply to drink water and their platoon commander, a lieutenant, ordered them to remain on base for 30 consecutive days. A family member of one of the soldiers calls the situation “absurd” Walla News reports.
The platoon commander instructed his men to drink water, aware they may be called to respond to an emergency and he wanted his soldiers to be ready for whatever might transpire. The two religious soldiers refused and maintained their fast. They asked the young officer to please consider their situation, explaining they are not taking part in any military action so they are fasting but if called to action, they would drink in compliance with instructions.
They were found guilty of refusing orders and sentenced to 30 consecutive days on base. Family members are quoted by Walla News explaining it is absurd that religious soldiers serving in the IDF in the State of Israel are punished for fasting on Yom Kippur.
It is added the unit was not activated during Yom Kippur as the day passed quietly in that area. The soldiers in question are veterans and have almost completed their military service, about to begin their vacation prior to discharge.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office explains the soldiers were part of an on-call unit, and therefore they were compelled to maintain a combat-ready status. They were asked to drink a minimum amount of water on Yom Kippur towards this end. They are punished for not obeying a direct order from a superior officer.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)