Rowdy Golani Brigade unit faces unprecedented dissolution

JERUSALEM — The Israel Defense Force has taken the extremely rare step of dismantling a combat company of the Golani Brigade because of ongoing disciplinary problems.

The decision was announced on Tuesday after extensive efforts to resolve the unruliness in the ranks of the unit, including disciplinary action, failed to have the desired effect.

In a terse statement, an Israel Defense Force spokesman said Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz and the commander of the Ga'ash division decided to accept the recommendation of the head of the Golani Brigade to dismantle the company.

The statement said the behavior of the soldiers, especially veteran troops, was not in keeping with the values of the Israel Defense Force, its esprit de corps and its regulations.

According to reports, older members of the company in particular were the most problematic in terms of discipline.

Some allegedly broke guard duty; some threw eggs at members of other teams in the unit.

There were reports of soldiers preventing an officer from entering a room and of a sergeant deciding to withhold food from other troops, simply because they were younger than him.

In particular, there were reports of veteran soldiers being abusive toward newer recruits and of humiliating them in some cases.

Military police investigated various incidents and disciplinary action was taken against offenders, but failed to restore order to the ranks.