update deskIsrael at War

PM reiterates stance against refusal as IDF dismisses soldier who threatened mutiny

In a video, the supposed reservist calls on Netanyahu to dismiss Defense Minister Yoav Gallant over his call to hand over Gaza to an "Arab entity."

Troops from the IDF's 98th Division operating in Jabalia, the northern Gaza Strip, May 2024. Credit: IDF.
Troops from the IDF's 98th Division operating in Jabalia, the northern Gaza Strip, May 2024. Credit: IDF.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday firmly rejected any notion of soldiers defying orders from the defense minister and military chief after a video circulated online of an IDF reservist demanding that the Cabinet member retract his comments about the future of Gaza.

In the video, a man identifying himself as a reservist calls on Netanyahu to dismiss Defense Minister Yoav Gallant over his statements warning that Jerusalem must find a way to hand over power to a governing entity in the Gaza Strip.

After the prime minister’s son Yair Netanyahu shared the clip on his Telegram channel saying, “We won’t listen to Gallant or the chief of staff—only to Netanyahu,” the Prime Minister’s Office issued a stern rebuke.

“The prime minister has repeatedly warned of the dangers of insubordination and the permissive approach towards it,” his office said. “The prime minister is consistent in this position. He categorically rejects any manifestation of insubordination by anyone and expects all systems to deal with them equally.”

Minister-without-Portfolio Benny Gantz, who leads the National Unity Party that joined the government after the war broke out despite being against Netanyahu, called on Netanyahu to unequivocally condemn the video advocating defiance of military orders.

“In the Israel Defense Forces, as the army of the people, soldiers from all parts of Israeli society serve, with a variety of views and beliefs,” Gantz said. “But there is only one supreme command echelon: the IDF chief of staff. Expressing support for a call to rebellion during wartime and in general, as in the video published yesterday, harms Israel’s security.”

He added, “I call on the prime minister to condemn the rebellion video clearly and firmly, and not to hide behind a laundering of words. That is what the entire leadership in Israel should do.”

The Israeli Military Police said on Saturday that they would open an investigation into a video circulated online showing a masked man identifying himself as a reservist calling for defiance of orders if control of the Gaza Strip is handed over to an “Arab entity.”

On Sunday evening, the IDF said it decided to dismiss the suspect from reserve duty pending the criminal investigation into his actions, which focuses on charges of incitement to insurrection and insubordination.

“The investigation by the Military Police continues, and following its conclusion, the findings will be forwarded to the Military Prosecutor’s Office,” said the statement.

Yair Netanyahu shared the video on his Telegram channel with around 15,000 subscribers on Friday. In it, the masked, furious-looking man holding a rifle says: “Gallant cannot command us, we will not listen to him or to the chief of staff—only to [Prime Minister] Netanyahu.”

The video, first posted by Channel 14 anchor Yinon Magal, includes a threat against Gallant: “Either you change your rhetoric and understand that we want to win, or we will only go with the prime minister. Only whoever decides that we need to win, only him will we follow. You wanted a military coup? We’ll show you what real Jews winning looks like,” the speaker says.

The man also voices defiance against the authority of the defense minister and military chief who are supposed to command the Israel Defense Forces, which could be considered incitement to insurrection.

He claims the defense minister cannot order the troops, saying: “If we don’t go all the way to victory, 100,000 soldiers will remain on the fence. We’ll call on the citizens of Israel to come to Gaza, and we’ll only listen to one leader, [Netanyahu], not the defense minister or the IDF chief of staff. Think very carefully about who you are planning to hand the keys over to afterward.”

The masked man in the video says: “We want to dismantle whoever remains here, no one will be left alive.” He adds: “We want to destroy whoever is here.”

The Qatari media network Al-Arabiya shared the video on its X account with 16 million followers.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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