IDF reservist in viral mutiny video dismissed from duty, under investigation

Military says soldier, who recorded himself saying troops would not obey orders to hand off control of Gaza, being probed for incitement to mutiny and not following orders

A screenshot of a video purporting to show an IDF reservist in Gaza threatening mutiny, published on May 24, 2024. (Screencapture/X: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A screenshot of a video purporting to show an IDF reservist in Gaza threatening mutiny, published on May 24, 2024. (Screencapture/X: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An Israel Defense Forces reservist who called for mutiny in a video shared on social media over the weekend has been dismissed from reserve duty, following his interrogation on Sunday by the Military Police.

The interrogation was part of an investigation into the soldier on suspicion of mutiny, incitement to mutiny, not following orders, and other offenses, the military said.

At the end of the investigation, findings will be presented to the Military Advocate General for review, the IDF said.

The video of the soldier, addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, circulated over the weekend after it was shared on social media by far-right journalist Yinon Magal and later republished by Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this video is for you,” the soldier begins at the start of the two and a half minute clip. The soldier, standing in what looks like a ruined building in Gaza, is masked, and does not identify himself.

Hebrew media reported that the video was in fact filmed in Israel. Images posted to the soldier’s Facebook page indicate that he did serve in Gaza previously.

Graffitied on the wall behind the soldier is the name “Kahane,” potentially a reference to the far-right Jewish extremist Meir Kahane, who called for the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Kahane’s party was banned from the Knesset and designated a terrorist organization by the Israeli government.

“We reservist soldiers do not intend to hand the keys [to Gaza] over to any Palestinian authority,” the soldier says in the video. “We do not intend to give the keys to Gaza to any entity — Hamas, Fatah, or any other Arab entity. Reservist soldiers are behind you and we want to win.”

The soldier addresses Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, saying: “Yoav Gallant, you can’t win the war. Quit. You can’t win this war. You can’t command us.”

The defense minister gave an address earlier this month calling on Netanyahu to make “tough decisions” to advance non-Hamas government in Gaza, rejecting the idea that the Israeli military would take responsibility for civil matters there.

Netanyahu responded to the speech by repeating his objection to allowing the Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza, saying he “will not replace Hamas-stan with Fatah-stan.”

According to Channel 12 news, the reservist in question had had multiple run-ins with the law in the past, and it was not clear why they had not raised red flags ahead of his reservist duty.

News of the reservist’s dismissal came a day after the IDF announced it was opening a criminal probe into the video, saying in response to a query on the matter: “The behavior in the video is a serious violation of IDF orders and IDF values.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi ordered commanders to immediately speak with their subordinates regarding the video, at all ranks, “given the severity of the incident.”

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