Despite reports that the IDF has finally ordered soldiers to take their guns with them while on leave – following the murder of Staff Sergeant Tuvia Yanai Weissman, who tried to fight off two terrorists with his bare hands – troops are still not being allowed to do so, according to prominent right-wing commentator Shimon Riklin.
Speaking during Channel 20's "The Patriots" panel, Riklin said that "contrary to what the (IDF) Chief of Staff said, soldiers are still not allowed to go home with their guns. Soldiers are turning to me all the time," he said.
Riklin also responded to attacks on the Right for accusing the IDF top brass of not fighting to win. He cited a book by left-wing MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid), entitled "The Courage to Win", as proof that such criticisms are far from exclusively right-wing.
"The heads of the army have not internalized the understanding that we are at war," he insisted.
Complaints over the IDF's policy requiring soldiers to hand in their army-issued weapons when going home on leave reached fever pitch following Weissman's murder, prompting an immediate rethink and – ostensibly – an abrupt about-face by the IDF chief.
The 21-year-old soldier and father of one was stabbed to death when he intervened to stop a stabbing attack at a Rami Levi supermarket north of Jerusalem. Weissman's widow told how he had previous expressed frustration at not being allowed to carry his weapon with him.
The terrorists were ultimately shot by two civilians using their privately-owned firearms, sparking further debate over Israel's strict gun control rules in general.