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IDF to limit number of soldiers allowed to travel out of uniform

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces announces that it will be limiting the number of soldiers who are allowed to travel to and from their bases out of uniform, following criticism for the practice.

In light of recent attacks by mobs of Arab Israelis against Jewish Israelis in mixed cities, including one in Jaffa in which an IDF soldier was seriously wounded, growing numbers of soldiers from such cities were permitted to travel in civilian clothing.

Israeli soldiers at a staging area near the Israeli border with Gaza, May 16, 2021 (Avi Roccah/Flash90)

The head of IDF Operations Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva says he is severely restricting the practice, allowing only officers of the rank of colonel and above to give such permission “on a case-by-case basis only,” the military says.

In addition, soldiers with basic infantry training will be permitted to bring service weapons home with them for weekend leave once they’ve received instruction from an officer ranked lieutenant colonel and above.

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