Soldier who failed to respond to Palestinian firebomber booted from unit

A soldier from the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance battalion has been kicked out of his unit after he failed to open fire at a Palestinian man who threw a Molotov cocktail at him in the northern West Bank on Saturday night, the military says.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the infantryman was stationed at a military post outside the Kedumim settlement, guarding the area. The Palestinian suspect approached the area by car and then got out of his vehicle and began walking toward a bus stop, while closely watching the guard post.

Seeing this as suspicious, the soldier approached the suspect and called for him to halt. The suspect then threw the firebomb at the soldier, missing him and causing neither damage nor injury, the IDF says.

“The event ended with the suspect throwing the Molotov cocktail at the soldier and fleeing, without the soldier opening fire,” the military says.

The IDF says that “despite the complexity of the situation” the soldier ought to have returned fire. In light of his failure to do so the commander of the Golani Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion decided to dismiss him from his postion, though he may be able to return in a few months, the IDF says.

Judah Ari Gross