IDF Facing Logistical Issues in West Bank Amid Counter-Terror Operation: Comptroller
The Israeli military is facing logistical issues affecting the living standards of its soldiers in the West Bank, amid an intensification in security tensions in the area, the State Comptroller warned on Sunday.
Following a surprise visit to a training base of the Kfir Brigade in the Jordan Valley and the Yakir military outpost in the northern West Bank in early August, where he spoke with conscripts and reservists, Comptroller Matanyahu Englman reported on a number of deficiencies.
At Kfir, soldiers noted an attentive and caring attitude among officials and command staff, but shared concerns over access to medical care, including extended wait times to see physicians, particularly specialists and dentists. They likewise raised issues with food quality, saying insufficient meat offerings were causing them to receive inadequate protein to remain fit.
The facilities — located in the intense heat of the Jordan Valley — notably lacked cold drinking water fountains, according to Englman’s report, and deficiencies were found with the toilets, showers, and air conditioners. Soldiers also complained about the utilization of time during their eight months of training, saying that a not insignificant amount was spent on logistical matters.
Reservists at the Yakir outpost, meanwhile, indicated a lack of support in regards to dealing with their employers when they leave to reserve duty, as well as a dearth of necessary equipment at the outpost, particularly certain weapons and vehicles. The comptroller also found that Yakir was hosting two reservists battalions amid Operation Breakwater, instead of one battalion as typical, placing a heavy burden on the outpost’s kitchen.
The operation was launched earlier this year in response to a surge in terrorist attacks by Palestinian and Arab Israeli perpetrators that has left 100 people killed or injured between March to September.
Englman recommended that the military act as a means of expressing appreciation for the reservists and “maintaining their motivation to serve and contribute to the country.”
The assumption concerning the IDF’s counter-terror activities in the West Bank “should be for a rolling operation that may last a long time,” Englman said, adding that he decided to publish a snap report as “the findings require immediate treatment and correction.”