IDF Reprimands Soldiers Accused of ‘Desecrating’ West Bank Mosque By Reciting Jewish Prayers Over Loudspeakers

The ‘independent act of a small force not only harms the image of the IDF, it also diverts attention from the important achievements of the operation,’ one Israeli security official tells a local press outlet.

AP/Majdi Mohammed
Palestinians flee an Israeli military raid on Jenin at the West Bank. AP/Majdi Mohammed

The Israeli Defense Forces have removed a group of soldiers from the battlefield and will discipline them after video surfaced online of them reciting Jewish prayers over the loudspeaker of a mosque they entered at Samaria, the IDF said Thursday.

The soldiers were accused of “desecrating” the mosque after the video appeared on social media of a group of them inside the mosque singing Chanukah songs and broadcasting them throughout the neighborhood over speakers normally used to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. The soldiers were also criticized for wearing their boots inside the mosque, which is forbidden under the Islamic faith.

The squad was part of a group of Israeli forces who have been rounding up terrorists in Jenin over the last three days. The operation began Tuesday and has netted hundreds of arrests as well as seized weapons, according to Israeli press reports. Since the war began, the IDF says it has arrested more than 2,000 wanted Palestinians across Judea and Samaria, as many as 1,100 of whom are affiliated with the Hamas terrorists who carried out the attacks on October 7.

In a statement announcing its decision to suspend the soldiers, the IDF said their actions violate the army’s code of conduct for operations within religious facilities.

“The soldiers were immediately removed from operational activity, after receiving the videos and after an initial inspection of the incident by commanders,” the IDF said. “The behavior of the soldiers in the videos is serious and stands in complete opposition to the values ​​of the IDF. The soldiers will be disciplined accordingly.”

An unnamed Israeli security official had even harsher words about the soldiers’ actions in an interview with Israel’s Kan news. The “independent act of a small force not only harms the image of the IDF, it also diverts attention from the important achievements of the operation,” the official said.

The New York Sun

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