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IDF Soldier Threatens ‘Military Coup’ Against Defense Minister, Asks To Stay in Gaza

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The Israeli Defense Forces will launch an investigation into a video of an Israeli soldier threatening a “military coup” against Israel’s Defense Minister, and calling for Israel to seize control of Gaza.

In the first half of the video a masked IDF soldier dressed in full army fatigues, carrying an automatic weapon, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The soldier argued that laying claim to Gaza is “the opportunity of a lifetime,” and that a group of 100,000 reservists “do not intend to hand over the keys to any Palestinian Authority,” including Hamas, Fatah, or “any Arab entity.”

“We’ve lost everything. We lost our family life. We lost our livelihoods. And we have nowhere to go,” said the Israeli soldier, standing in rubble, the ruins of a building, presumably in Gaza. Israel has waged a massive military campaign in Gaza killing over 35,000 people, and displacing nearly one million more who are trapped in the region, unable to escape.

“We’ll stay here. Until victory,” he said. On the cement ceiling above him, burn marks, signs of an explosion, are visible.

The second half of the video, the soldier called for the resignation of Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and said the reservists would only answer to Netanyahu.

“You cannot win a war. Resign. You cannot win the war, you cannot command us,” he said. “We will listen to one leader, and it is not the minister of defense, and it is not the chief of staff, it is the prime minister. Think carefully to whom you intend to give the keys after this.”

“Change your record, change the record and understand that we want to win, or we will go only with the prime minister,” he continued. “Only with whoever decides that we should win, we will follow him. Here I tell you, did you want a military coup?”

Last week, Gallant challenged Netanyahu to commit to Palestinian rule in Gaza, “even with the possibility of personal or political costs.”

Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s 32-year-old son, reposted the video in a Telegram channel, dismissing claims that the video was advocating for a “military rebellion.”

“An army that announces that in times of dispute it will obey only the government and the prime minister is not a rebel but on the contrary, it is an army that obeys the law,” he wrote, according to NBC News.

On Saturday, the IDF released a statement, saying the chilling video was a “serious violation of IDF orders and IDF values, and constitutes a suspicion of criminal offences.”

“In regard to the incident, the Chief of Military Advocate General Corps ordered the opening of an investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division,” the statement said. “At the same time as the investigation, in view of the seriousness of the incident, the Chief of Staff ordered an immediate command dialogue at all levels.”

On Friday, the Military Police said that it would investigate social media posts, which allegedly show IDF soldiers burning books in Gaza, including the Quran, according to The Times of Israel. In one video, an IDF soldier tosses a Quran into a flaming pile of wood. In one photograph, reportedly at the library at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza City, a soldier kneels, pretending to read, as a stack of books goes up in flames behind him.

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