Israeli Soldiers Are Now Required to Carry Firearms While Off Duty

February 23, 2016 Updated: February 23, 2016

An Israeli soldier, Yanai Weissman, was killed in a Feb. 18 terrorist attack in the Israeli-occupied West Bank while he was on vacation. Weissman tried stopping the attack, and without a firearm, he charged at the terrorist with his bare hands.

Following the attack, leaders of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) began reviewing a law that forbade troops from carrying their weapons if they left for a vacation longer than three days, unless they submitted a special request saying why they needed their firearms.

The review came to a close, and on Feb. 22, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot ordered all IDF soldiers in combat units to carry their weapons while off duty, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Along with the new requirement, all IDF soldiers will be briefed on how they can respond to emergency situations, and how to keep their weapons safe and secure while on vacation, Eizenkot said, according to Jerusalem Online.

There is ongoing investigation into whether Weissman had submitted a request to bring his weapon on vacation, before he was killed.

Weissman’s family members claim he submitted the request. They stated, according to an earlier report from Jerusalem Online, “Yanai… routinely asked to leave the base with his weapon, he didn’t insist on it but he asked.”

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