After more than three months of fighting in Palestinian lands, Israeli reserved forces now refuse to continue to war, a new report by Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed revealed last week.
According to a new report released by the Arab-language Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed news agency, nearly half the Israeli reserved soldiers have refused to continue the fight in the Gaza Strip and were therefore released from duty by their commanders.
The Qatari media also noted that based on the reports by Israel’s Kan Reshet Bet radio, the reserved soldiers were called up to form a new brigade in the Israeli army to carry out protection tasks in the areas surrounding Gaza and the occupied West Bank. However, “the soldiers received permission to leave the battalion after the army tried to send them to fight and carry out combat missions within Gaza for which they refused to participate.”
As the report further noted, “the reserved forces were called up in late December, but they were poorly organized, and did not have a deputy brigade commander, and were short on weapons and officers.”
The report also added that a one of the reserved soldiers noted, “we received the conscription order, and we responded to that. They told us that our specialty would be to protect the towns, and after about a week of training that took place in a horrific manner, without ammunition, and without officers, we were suddenly told that there was an order that the Israeli army needed us to enter the Gaza Strip to directly fight Palestinians and clear their homes.”
“We were shocked,” the soldier added, also explaining that “we are all combat soldiers. I personally was in the Nahal Brigade, and the rest of the soldiers are from former infantry brigades, but we had not carried out reserve missions for years. We were given an M16 weapon, which fell apart in our hands, and there was no ammunition for training. We collected bullets off the ground so that we have something we can fire.”
Is Tel Aviv lying about war strategies?!
Earlier this month, the Israeli military announced that it has plans to withdraw thousands of its soldiers from the besieged Gaza Strip in the first significant pullback of troops since the war there began in October.
Back then, many news agencies and think tanks related this surprising decision to be the result of the US increasing pressure on Israel to end the war in Gaza. The Israeli government says this is part of a planned transition away from the “intensive maneuvering stage” of its Gaza military campaign to a more targeted phase to last until the end of this year.
In light of the new report, however, it is believed that Israel might have been having trouble convincing its troops to fight for it in Gaza. This is especially true considering the fact that the new report comes amid the announcement that the 36th division, which comprises armored, engineering, and infantry companies, withdrew from the Gaza Strip after 80 days of fighting.
Therefore, it is not out of the question now to speculate that Israel has been forced to withdraw some of its forces from Gaza due to heavy losses inflicted by fighters from Hamas and also the lack of inspiration by Israeli reserved forces to further continue the war.
Since the war began in Gaza back on October 7, Israel had to call hundreds of thousands of its reserved forces to take part in battle, forcing them to leave their jobs to join the Israeli army. This has created many economic problems both for the reserved forces as well as the Israeli government who has to pay the civilian-turned-soldiers Israelis.