Eight Israeli soldiers have decided to refuse their officers' orders after their weeks-long complaints that they were not being supplied with sufficient amounts of food went unanswered. Last week, the soldiers informed their commander that they would not be performing the necessary maintenance to the battalion's Merkava 4 tanks until they were properly fed, Ynet reported on Monday. They were promptly written up, tried for insubordination and sentenced to two weeks detention. "The problem started a few months ago, when our battalion was stationed in the Golan Heights. At the base we had only a few meals, consisting of food that is hardly fit for human consumption. After a while, just as the food supply showed some improvement, we moved to the Yishai Camp near Jerusalem (al-Quds), and the problems returned." one of the soldiers told Ynet on the condition of anonymity.
"In some occasions the mess was simply closed for no reason. We would just go without food," the soldier added.He added that the supply would be meager in other occasions. "We're not nitpicking. More often than not, many of us brought food from home or had to buy food in advance so that we wouldn't starve," the trooper noted. Another soldier in the battalion complained that "It's absurd, because officers and commanders are well aware of the situation but are nonetheless completely mishandling it. This is happening in the Armor Brigade in which the Israeli Army is investing the most resources in equipment, but not in the soldiers - those who take care of the equipment." Meanwhile, the Israeli Army Spokesperson's Unit stated that they are aware of the food problem at the Yishai camp, adding that appropriate bureaus are handling the problem. MP/JR