IDF Soldier Sentenced to 20 Days Imprisonment For Hitchhiking

An IDF  soldier is going to prison for hitchhiking: “There is a real danger of attempted kidnappings” officers say.

By Kochava Rozenbaum


A student in a yeshivat hesder program, which combines military service with Torah learning, was tried and sentenced to 20 days in prison after he asked for a ride contrary to IDF orders which prohibits hitchhiking.

Israeli hitchhiker waits for a ride in Samaria – Photo: Hillel Meir

It was reported on Wednesday that an IDF investigating officer determined the hesder soldier to have been caught hitchhiking. As a result, the offending soldier is spending 20 days of confinement in a Tel Hashomer base.

The commanding officer, Netanel Moyal, released a statement to the list of Hesder Yeshivot [Jewish institutions] saying:

“Please keep in mind that hesder soldiers are strictly forbidden to take rides just like any other soldier, without exceptions.”

“There is a real danger of attempted kidnappings,” he added.

Moyal continued to say that any soldier who recounts of taking a “tremp” [the Hebrew term for a hitchhike] will be judged harshly.

An outstretched arm looking for a lift is a common sight in Israel, especially in areas of Judea and Samaria where bus services are infrequent.

Although a typical part of Israeli society, hitchhiking, is technically a violation of IDF procedure. Israeli security experts constantly warn of the potential for Arab terrorists disguised as Jews to abduct hitchiking soldiers.

In 2012 the IDF launched a website,, to warn against the dangers of tremping.


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