Injured combat soldier detained

Injured soldier’s battle-damaged helmet

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 11:01 A soldier who volunteered to fight in Gaza after completing his mandatory service and was injured in combat was detained by the Military Police on suspicion of possession of weapons he took home from the war. The soldier served in the Haruv Reconnaissance Unit as a light-machine gunner (Negevist Hod) and completed his mandatory service in October. In contrast to most of his friends, he volunteered to take part in the war in the Gaza Strip. He joined his commander and fought in tough battles in Gaza. In one of them, he was injured in the head by gunfire and narrowly escaped with his life. The soldier was evacuated to the hospital where he began a long and complicated rehabilitation process.

Approximately one week after the soldier was injured, Military Police investigators suddenly informed him, in person, that he was being detained on suspicion of taking a terrorist’s weapon that he had shot as a souvenir. He is also suspected of taking additional weapons that were found shortly before his detention. The soldier has been in remand for over a month. During this time, he could not continue his necessary rehabilitation process. All his family’s requests to grant a suffering soldier suitable treatment have been refused. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar is representing the soldier.

The soldier’s mother: “My son served as a combat soldier in a reconnaissance unit as a light-machine gunner. He was injured and suffered from pain, but continued to serve. Even when the doctor wanted to remove him from combat, he insisted on continuing despite his pain. After he completed his mandatory service, his friends from his unit were released, and he volunteered to go into Gaza as a light-machine gunner under his company commander. He was wounded and miraculously survived. I simply cannot believe that this is how the army is treating a combat soldier who almost sacrificed his life for them and is suffering from great pain because of a serious injury. Instead of giving him respect for his sacrifice, he’s been thrown into prison with no possibility of treatment or rehabilitation. This is a disgrace.”

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar added: “The Military Advocate General’s position on the combat soldier’s detention is inexplicable and follows their prolonged disregard for the crises of combat soldiers who risk their lives. The soldier was already honorably discharged from service and yet took part in battles in the Gaza Strip. There is no reason for him to be behind bars as if he were a hardened criminal while his trial is held. We hope that the court will order his release.”

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