An Israeli soldier was sentenced to 10 days in military prison after he was filmed attacking left-wing activists in Hebron who were taking part in a tour organized by human rights organization Breaking the Silence on Friday, Nov. 25. The activists, who also included religious and ultra-Orthodox members, came to visit in solidarity with Palestinian families after the violence they were subjected to a week ago. In two videos, soldiers are seen verbally and physically abusing the activists. In one of the videos, a soldier is seen severely beating one of them without justification. In another video, a soldier is seen telling the activists, “the house of whores you are doing here is over.”
Following the shocking incident, the fascist Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir has launched a campaign to support soldiers in the occupation army and proposed a law that will punish anyone who “interferes with the soldier in the performance of his duty.” This proposed law would give Israeli soldiers absolute freedom to do whatever they want and attack, raid, and oppress without any fear of criticism or repercussion.
The soldier was recorded insulting one of the activists and expressing support for Ben-Gvir, who will likely be the next Minister of Internal Security, saying “I am the law here, I rule. Only Ben-Gvir will make order here!” After being served his punishment yesterday, Nov. 29, the Right began circulating photos of the commander who allegedly sentenced him and called for his punishment.
The investigation carried out by the army recommended to suspend the five soldiers who were involved in the attack on the activists. The full investigation is expected to be transferred to the military police.
MK Ben-Gvir, who lives in Kiryat Arba, Hebron, claimed that “the message of punishment weakens the hands of the soldiers and does not strengthen them in the fight against terrorism. In this too, it’s time to put order here and give back to our heroic soldiers.” In response to the punishment against the soldier, Ben-Gvir and other members from his Jewish Power party, MKs Almog Cohen and Limor Son Har-Melech, submitted a bill in which they seek to amend the Penal Code and add soldiers to the section that deals with interfering with a police officer in the performance of their duties. According to the original penal law, obstructing in police affairs – and now also a soldier – is punishable by up to three years in prison.