Israeli military mishandling donations, comptroller says

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military is mishandling outside donations, the state comptroller said in a new report.

Donated funds have been used to build military health clinics and rehabilitation centers and to purchase ambulances, services that are supposed to be provided by the army, Joseph Shapira said in the report, which was published Monday.

In addition, soldiers often participate in fundraising for their units, which is a conflict of interest and against the law, according to the report. This fundraising is sometimes for equipment or clothing, and sometimes armaments.

The report condemned the practice of soldiers and officers having direct ties with the donors and fundraisers and of their taking part in the fundraising.

Shapira also criticized the fundraising drives that are held by the parents of soldiers for their children’s units, which causes inequality among army units and puts pressure on relatives and friends to donate.

The report called on the Israel Defense Forces to enforce rules regarding outside contributions and punish those who violate the rules.

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