‘David’, who was caught on camera cocking his weapon at a Palestinian teenager, was court-martialed for violent offenses by his commander, just prior to this incident.
By Yoav Zitun, Michal Margalit
A Nahal soldier, who was removed from his combat position in the brigade after he was documenting cocking his weapon and aiming it at a Palestinian teenager earlier this week, but a Facebook page with over 71,000 likes is demanding his reinstatement.
An investigation of the incident, in which the soldier cocks his weapon at a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager in Hebron, found that the soldier was removed from the brigade before the incident.
Several hours before the incident, the soldier faced a martial trial by the battalion commander for two previous violent incidents he was involved in. In both incidents he attacked soldiers from the brigade and in one of them he threw a stone at his platoon commander. He was sentenced to 20 days in army prison and removed from his combat position as a consequence.
An IDF investigation of the incident in Hebron found that the soldier did a security check to three Palestinians near Beit Hadassah in the heart of the Jewish part of Hebron. At certain point during the security check, one of the Palestinians pulled out brass knuckles.
The soldier, who was alone at his post, felt threatened and this is why he cocked his weapon in an accentuated manner, in accordance with military orders.
His commanders backed his up, but noted that the swearing and threatening he spewed after cocking his weapon towards these Palestinians are not an appropriate behavior for an IDF combat soldier.
The incident garnered attention online in the past 24 hours due to a Facebook petition posted by civilians and signed by hundreds of people expressing support in the soldier.
“The IDF’s soldiers are tired of being abandoned to the enemy’s hands and being played like chess pieces,” it said at the top of the petition.
One of the supporters, Moshe Shapira, wrote: “He didn’t pull the trigger, he didn’t hit, he didn’t fight(!), all he did was an act of deterrence, did as he was required, and then the very same commanders who instructed him to act this way is abandoning him from political reasons, for PR.”
Another supporter, Gil Cohen, wrote: “Every parent who has a son in the Nahal brigade needs to phone the brigade commander’s office right now and demand their son is removed from the brigade immediately and be reassigned to a different brigade that has values, back up, and commanders who are true Zionists, Israeli, and patriots.”
An IDF soldier uploaded a photo to the Facebook page in which four soldiers looking towards the camera and a prison guard with his back to the camera. The soldiers are all hiding their faces with paper signs that say: “Border Police and the IDF are with David!”, “I’m with David too!” and “Today David, tomorrow you.”
Shani Sason uploaded a picture of a framed photo of an army dog tag and a gun with the paper sign “I’ve been to Hebron, I was wounded in Hebron, wounded soldiers are also with David the Nahlawi,” using a common nickname for soldier serving in the Nahal brigade.
Another photo shows Chief of Staff Benny Gantz aiming a gun and allegedly saying: “I would’ve cocked my weapon too.”
The IDF stressed no Palestinian was injured in the incident and that soldiers who feel their life is being threatened are expected to cock their weapon as an act of deterrence.
Army officials also mentioned that the images taken by the Palestinians during the incident clearly show one of the Palestinians was wearing a brass knuckle next to the soldier.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4515034,00.html