IDF senior commander suspended for refusing to get vaccinated

According to IDF policy, reservists and soldiers who refuse to vaccinate may present a negative CPR test instead.

By World Israel News Staff

Commander of the IDF’s Alpinist Unit has been suspended due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Kan News reported on Saturday evening.

The commander, a Lt.-Col reservist, had been leading the special unit for years. In a highly unusual decision, he was suspended by commander of the IDF Northern Command, Maj.-Gen Amir Baram, after refusing to vaccinate.

According to IDF policy, reservists and soldiers who refuse to vaccinate may present a negative CPR test instead.

But Baram has apparently decided to expand the policy, requiring all senior commanders in the Northern Command to get vaccinated.

In a letter sent to his unit the suspended commander wrote: “Commander of the Northern Command has argued that getting vaccinated ensures that the troops are qualified and in top condition, and so he insists that all senior commanders must be vaccinated in order to set a personal example.

“Due to this new directive and because I am a senior commander refusing to get vaccinated, the Maj-.Gen. has decided to suspend me as acting commander until the circumstances change … Therefore, I am no longer your acting commander and I won’t be making my way to the Hermon this upcoming winter.”

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The commander stressed in the letter that the suspension was not permanent.

The Alpinist Unit operates in one of Israel’s most challenging terrains – the Hermon mountain – and is mostly made up of reservists who’ve served in special units. According to the IDF, the unit undergoes extensive training and specializes in “immunity and resilience to nature, maneuverability and coping with extreme situations, and deep recognition of the terrain during warm and cold weather.”