The Israeli Army has sentenced this Tuesday to ten days in a military prison a soldier who verbally confronted an activist in the West Bank town of Hebron last week, at the height of the rise in tensions and violence in the area.
The soldier, whose identity has not been revealed, affirmed that the far-right parliamentarian Itamar Ben Gvir, who will be appointed minister of National Security in the new Israeli government, “is going to solve things in this place.” “You’ve lost, the fun’s over,” he said.
After being asked by the activist if he was doing something “illegal” by recording him, the soldier replied: “Everything you do is illegal. I am the law,” before ordering him to walk away. In addition, he wore a patch on his military clothing that read ‘One shot. A death. No regrets. I decide’, according to the newspaper ‘The Times of Israel’.
Patches other than those used by military units or the Israeli flag go against the regulations of the Israeli Army, which has not published any statement confirming the sentence, which was immediately criticized by Ben Gvir.
“Sending a soldier to prison for ten days for saying ‘Ben Gvir is going to fix things on this site’ crosses a red line and sends a harmful message to soldiers,” said the parliamentarian, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudi.
“We must not allow the anarchists who defame us to always win. We must support the soldiers and not weaken them,” he pointed out through a message posted on his account on the social network Twitter.
A second soldier who attacked another activist and reduced him to the ground, where he punched him several times in the face, has been suspended following the attack, while the activist has been placed under house arrest.
During the day on Monday, an Israeli Army commander warned the military that there would be repercussions for this type of action, while three soldiers were arrested on Monday for allegedly being behind the launch of an explosive against a Palestinian home in the West Bank.
“Troops that do not behave in a moral way, as expected of them, will not carry out operational activities until the end of the investigation into the incident,” Nadav Lotan, who heads Division 162, said after the latest incidents.