Ofir Avraham, now 28 years old, 8 years ago was a soldier serving compulsory army service. He stormed at a terrorist who had smashed through an army barrier. Today, after 8 years, apparently after pressure from international organizations, he is being charged with manslaughter.
S., a female combat soldier in the IDF, inspected the bag of an Arab woman and discovered a Coca Cola bottle containing a suspicious liquid. She asked the woman what was in it, and was told: “Water”. “So drink it”, she said. The Arab woman suffered from food poisoning and was subsequently released from hospital. After pressure was applied by Amnesty, S. was put in jail for ten days, and only after her mental condition deteriorated was she transferred to “close confinement” in a military camp.
A., a resident of one of the settlements in the Shilo bloc, accompanied a group of Yeshiva students as a security guard. Near Shilo their bus was stoned, and he got out and fired. As a result an Arab was injured. (He is now quite recovered.) A. was kept in custody for six months during the course of the trial, when he was found guilty of minor offences and released. A civil action was subsequently brought against him with a demand for NIS 270,000. His lawyer told him to ignore it, but judgment had been given. A. hired another lawyer, and with the aid of the settlement’s rabbi reduced the amount he was forced to pay to $2000.
S., a kibbutznik, was employed during the first Intifada as a security guard. After working hours a group of Arabs approached the outermost houses of the settlement. S. claimed that one of the Arabs was holding a gun. S. fired and killed the Arab, and subsequently received a prison sentence of eighteen months. A civil action was subsequently brought against him and he is now paying off a claim of NIS 90,000.
M. and N. from the Shilo bloc encountered Arab olive pickers who approached the fence of the settlement, and in the presence of the army drove them off and took two sacks of olives. They are now charged with theft and assault.
I. is a resident of one of the Eli hilltops. An Arab who got too close to the hilltop claims that I. attacked him a stick. I. was charged with assault.
A. is a resident of Kiryat Arba who is employed by Civil Intelligence Ltd. as a security guard. When an Arab attempted to break into the branch of Bank Ha’poalim that he was guarding in East Jerusalem, he fired at and killed him. His trial is now in progress and he is working for only a third of his salary (without a gun) in other places.
B., a resident of Tekoa, fired at and injured an Arab throwing stones. After plea-bargaining he was found guilty of minor charges. Subsequently a civil action was brought against him in the amount of NIS 200,000.
The security officer of the settlement, Miro Cohen, is in a similar situation.
Yitzhak Rubinstein, who was the security officer of Beit Hagai, was charged with assault when he used “excessive force” to drive off two Arabs who penetrated his settlement.
Azriel Bakarov, aged 42, a new immigrant from Russia and a Habad Chassid from the Itamar hilltops, was arrested at the entrance to the Western Wall with several pistol bullets. During the course of the investigation he immediately, admitted that he possessed a pistol (without a license) in his caravan in Itamar, given to him by a friend who had gone blind.
H. is a farmer who owns fruit orchards in the southern Hebron hills. One Shabbat he visited his orchard. In a pre-planned operation, an Arab shepherd arrived with his flock and crossed an agreed limiting boundary. H. turned back the flock, and at that moment the shepherd called out and group of Leftists and Arabs arrived in order to advance the flock. H. is charged with firing in the air and has been placed under house arrest.
Shahar and Yanai fought together with their comrades in the famous battle near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, in which their comrades and the Brigade Commander, Dror Weinberg, were killed.
David Sharvit: Aged 35, married with 5 children, a building contractor who employs only Jewish labor, who lives in Har Bracha. About 8 years ago he fired at and wounded an Arab who had thrown stones at him, and was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Since that time, he has not been permitted to own a gun. However, because of the security situation he bought a hunting rifle for self defense. He was arrested and sentenced to 2.5 years jail for possessing an illegal weapon. This sentence is out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence, according to any judicial or human criterion.
Rabbi Yehoshua Shani: Aged 37, married with 7 children, principal of a high school, a resident of Kiryat Arba and a member of the city council. He visited an outpost set up after the murder of teacher Rina Didovsky and cab driver Eliyahu Ben Ami, and encountered a wild attack by Arabs. He was forced to fire in the air in order to drive them off. He was kept in custody for two weeks and subsequently forced to leave his family and go to live in Kiryat Shmona for another two months. His trial was accompanied by limiting conditions of house arrest, etc. In the end he was found guilty of minor charges and sentenced to 4 months public service work only.
Shahar Dvir: Aged 25, married with 2 children. He is a shepherd whose flock was stolen from the yard of his house. IDF and Police forces arrived, and as was to be expected the tracks led a nearby Arab village. Near the village the forces got cold feet and decided to return. In his frustration Shahar fired and injured a passing donkey. He was detained for 5 days and charged with shooting in a built-up area. In the meantime, at the request of the police, he has been exiled from his family, his source of income, and from the entire Yesha region.
Danny Morali: Aged 51, married with one child. He is a businessman. Eight years ago his brother was murdered by Arabs in an accident that later turned out to have been staged. His brother, Albert, had served as a border police commander in Hebron. Danny found no peace for his soul, and a year later drove to the place of the murder and killed an Arab truck driver. He then gave himself up to the police, and explained his motives. Danny was awarded a medal for bravery in the Yom Kippur War when as an Ordnance officer he saved his battalion. He received warm recommendations from Maj. Gen. Dan Harel and from Brig. Gen. Oded Tira, the chairman of the Industrialists Federation and the former commander of the IDF Artillery Corps. They both gave evidence of his serious nature and his unsettled feelings since the murder of his brother. Danny was sentenced to life imprisonment (with no mitigating circumstances).
Natan Engelsman: In 1994 he worked as a technician for Coca Cola and traveled throughout Yesha to repair equipment. When stones were thrown at him in the village of El-Jib he attempted to defend himself by firing in the air. By accident he hit an Arab woman. He was found guilty of causing death by negligence and was also sued for damages by the woman’s family. He was obligated to pay tens of thousands of shekels.
Miro Cohen and Shimon Bar-Asher, residents of Tekoa are married men. They chased stone throwers who fled into the village of Beit Sahur. Miro Cohen is the Security Officer of Tekoa, and Shimon Bar-Asher drove the vehicle. The Arab they suspected of throwing the stones tried to grab Miro’s gun, an M-16 rifle. Miro fired at him and wounded him in his leg. Miro and Shimon were brought to trial and found guilty in the Jerusalem district court. However, they were acquitted after an appeal to the High Court. Despite this, they were sued in a civil action and the judge has ruled that they must pay damages. They are now waiting to hear the judge’s decision regarding the amount of the compensation, that is liable to reach hundreds of thousands of shekels.
Boaz Moshkovitz: Resident of Tekoa, aged 43, married with 2 daughters. He defended himself against stone throwers in the Beit Sahur junction and unintentionally shot an Arab youth. He was found guilty of causing death by negligence and was sentenced to 5 months public service work. He was sued for damages by the family from Beit Sahur and ordered to pay 200,000 shekels.
Uriel Davidi: Aged 25, a resident of Shilo. After two of his friends from the military academy in Eli were murdered, he shot an Arab near Eli, was arrested, and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment. He was a minor at the time.
Gur Hammel: Aged 31, a resident of Itamar. After two of his friends were murdered (Harel Bin-Nun and Shlomo Liebman), and after an Israel Electric employee, Danny Vergas, was murdered in Kiryat Arba, he killed an Arab on the same day near Itamar. Gur was born on kibbutz Sa’ad and is the brother-in-law of Meir Lixenberg, who was recently murdered in Itamar. He was sentenced to life imprisonment (as though there were no mitigating circumstances).