Parents said threatening court case to pull surveillance troops from northern border

Families reportedly ask army officials why their kids haven’t been moved and if there is a plan to ensure their safety if fighting escalates, amid fears of Oct. 7 repeat

Soldiers are seen monitoring surveillance cameras at a command center at the IDF's Re'im camp in southern Israel, November 5, 2023 (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative: Soldiers are seen monitoring surveillance cameras at a command center at the IDF's Re'im camp in southern Israel, November 5, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The parents of a number of surveillance soldiers serving on a base close to the northern border say they will petition the High Court if their demand is not met for the troops be moved to a safer location further from the frontier, Hebrew media reported Monday.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, the parents sent a letter to several army officials asking to know why the soldiers have not been moved further back from the border, and whether there is a plan to ensure their evacuation or protection if there is a more severe outbreak of fighting.

The parents have long expressed concern that the soldiers were not equipped or trained to deal with the potential risks of being so close to the border, particularly after unarmed surveillance soldiers stationed near Gaza were killed and taken hostage during Hamas’s October 7 onslaught.

The parents said the soldiers were in “daily danger to their lives, with anxieties and fears, burnout and fatigue, which impair their functioning,” according to the report.

The parents also reportedly said that it is unclear why some soldiers have been evacuated from the border, while others were not.

“My daughter asks why they are waiting to evacuate them. If a soldier asks such a question, we must act. They can do the work from anywhere, even from Tel Aviv,” Marganit Erez, one of the mothers told Kan.

Smoke billows from fires ignited by Israeli shelling on the forested areas of the southern Lebanese village of Deir Mimas on June 15, 2024. (Rabih DAHER / AFP)

In response, the IDF spokesperson told the broadcaster: “We are aware of the feelings of the observers and their parents and are at their disposal in order to provide them with the best ways to carry out their duties professionally while maintaining their safety.”

In February, a number of the parents said they would rather see their children sent to military prison for defying orders than have them placed in unnecessary danger at the base near the border with Lebanon. At the time, some of the parents said their fears were dismissed.

Since October 8, the Hezbollah terror group has launched near-daily attacks on communities and military posts in the north.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in 10 civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 15 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 343 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 63 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and dozens of civilians have been killed.

The IDF’s treatment of surveillance soldiers, the vast majority of whom are women, has been heavily criticized since the war began when Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

When the attack began, surveillance soldiers near the Gaza border were unarmed and did not have sufficient protection from the terrorists who overran the Nahal Oz base, where they killed 52 soldiers, including 15 female surveillance officers, and kidnapped a further seven female surveillance officers.

Following the October 7 onslaught, surveillance soldiers who served along the border with Gaza said they had raised alerts prior to that day of suspicious activity but were ignored.

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