The IDF’s intelligence division has issued new guidelines for the use of electronic devices on the battlefield, urging soldiers to be wary of devices that track the location of the soldier, but not his body.
The new guidelines came as part of a new military policy announced on Tuesday, which prohibits the use or placement of any electronic device that tracks an individual’s movements, or which allows a device to transmit that information.
“We have always said that we will not allow the installation of any tracking device or devices that can track the movements of an individual.
This means that we have no plans to allow the use and placement of these devices,” said Brig. Gen. Yossi Cohen, head of the IDF’s cyber operations department, in a statement on Tuesday.
“If we are forced to use these devices, we will use them responsibly.”
According to the guidelines, which were issued on Tuesday in response to a request from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the use, placement, storage, and transfer of such electronic devices is prohibited in all circumstances.
In addition, commanders must ensure that no such devices are placed in or around soldiers, and that no electronic devices are used to record or transmit the location or activities of an IDF soldier.
The guidelines also state that any electronic devices that are used or placed by an individual in proximity to an enemy, as well as that device or device itself, must be secured by a security guard.
It was unclear how long the guidelines would last, and Cohen did not say whether the IDF would implement the guidelines in the future.
“In the long term, I am not going to say how long it will take,” Cohen said in the statement.
“The IDF will implement its guidelines in accordance with the legal and ethical framework of the state.”
In an earlier statement, Liberman said that the IDF had “zero tolerance” for any unauthorized use of such devices and would continue to do so.
“We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone who commits the violation of this rule,” Liberman wrote.
“No IDF soldier should be allowed to place any type of device in the path of an enemy soldier or any other civilian,” he added.
The IDF did not immediately respond to a query about whether the guidelines were related to the use by Israeli forces of electronic jamming devices that intercept radio communications and other electronic signals.
Israelis use of jamming gear to track soldiers has been a source of controversy for years.
Last year, the Israeli military launched a new tactic that it called “jamming mode” in which soldiers would use jamming equipment to jam communications.
Jamming mode was introduced in January and was intended to provide the army with the ability to monitor and control communications between soldiers and their command centers.
In December, a report from the United Nations warned that Israel was placing more than 10,000 electronic jammer devices on military and civilian vehicles, and the equipment has been linked to a growing number of deaths, including of civilians, as a result.
The new IDF guidelines also come as Israel continues to struggle with the fallout from last year’s deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound cargo ship.
In late April, the UN Committee Against Torture found that Israeli forces had killed at least 120 Palestinians during the operation, which it called an “act of war.”
In response, the Israel Defense Forces said that Israeli authorities had not provided adequate information about the operation and that it would “not be possible to confirm whether such information is accurate.”