The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) are mulling postponing its regular training sessions for reservists due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, the broadcaster Kan reported, as the country recently registered over 10,000 active COVID-19 cases – the nation's highest number throughout the pandemic. A final decision on the matter will reportedly be made at the start of next week.
"It will be hard to bring 500 soldiers from across the country and all social groups and let them spend time together", an anonymous military source told Kan.
It's so far unclear if the 500 soldiers mentioned by the source are somehow related to Defence Minister Benny Gantz's order to call 500 up reservists to help the country handle a new outbreak of the pandemic. According to the order, the 500 soldiers are expected to staff so-called coronavirus hotels across the country, where carriers of the disease with no or very mild symptoms will be quarantined.
Apart from possibly postponing training sessions, the IDF is considering introducing a "capsule" system in the armed forces to limit the interaction between groups of servicemen, as well as between the military and civilians.
The IDF regularly organises training sessions for some of its reservists, who may one day need to answer the call of duty if Israel faces a major attack on its territory. This practice was implemented to keep the skills of much-needed servicemen, such as tank and jet pilots, sharp and soldiers ready for military action.
Right now, however, reservists are being called upon to help the military in handling the pandemic and limit the spread of the disease, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a new "major outbreak" in the country on 3 July. The military itself has also fallen victim to the pandemic, with hundreds of soldiers and officers catching the virus and being quarantined.