IDF freezes promotion of commander accused of going rogue

The head of the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command has blocked the promotion of a Golani Brigade lieutenant who was the subject of an exposé in the Haaretz newspaper last month, which charged that he had a history of violating orders while his superiors looked the other way.

In a statement, the military denied several key aspects of the Haaretz reports — principally those related to an alleged unauthorized cross-border raid into Syria last January, as well as claims that senior officers attempted to cover up Lt. Guy Eliyahu’s misdeeds. It also found that the lieutenant was indeed guilty of “making a number of mistakes along the way,” and that the commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, Lt. Col. Shimon Siso, should not have allowed Eliyahu to prepare for promotion at the military’s Tactical Command College.

According to the military, these mistakes included: having his soldiers stop their vehicles in an unsafe way along the highway — shortly before a number of soldiers in the unit were killed in a car accident, in a similar but different case; failing to prevent his soldiers from slashing the tires of Palestinians’ cars in Nablus shortly after that deadly car crash as an indiscriminate form of revenge; and falsifying a document that he presented to a military court.

Siso manages to escape with only a censure.

— Judah Ari Gross