Thursday, July 10, 2014, 20:12 Friends and family of the four
soldiers sentenced to 10 days in military prison after participating in a protest on Facebook calling for the elimination of terrorists after the kidnapping and murder of three youths inGush Etzion started a support campaign for the soldiers. The families printed shirts and signs reading, “[We are] Proud of You” with a photograph of the soldiers saying, “Bibi let us eliminate the terrorists”.
Honenu attorney Adi Kedar filed an appeal on the decision and demanded a retrial for the soldiers.
Kedar pointed out several flaws in the legality of the proceedings against the soldiers and claimed that the army was conducting a show trial designed to cover up for the reaction of the army to the “David the Nachal soldier” issue. “David the Nachal soldier” was serving in Hevron on April 29, 2014 when a group of Arab youths provoked, threatened, pushed and shoved him. After warning the Arabs to stop – and they did not – he cocked his weapon, for which he was dismissed from combat service. However David
received massive support from soldiers and civilians who commended him for defending himself honorably in a difficult situation. Thousands of soldiers photographed themselves similarly to the four Nachal soldiers detained on Thursday, July 3.
“Apparently after the “David the Nachal soldier” incidents the IDF authorities have been unable to cope with the phenomenon and therefore also have not been able to transmit the correct and proper message to soldiers. This instance is not a borderline case. No violation has occurred and my clients have fallen victim to pressures applied by commanders required to put a stop the general phenomenon, however unfortunately they did so in the wrong instance,” wrote Kedar in the appeal.
The Military Advocate General responded in the negative to Kedar’s demand to reduce the penalty for the soldiers or to hold a retrial. The Military Advocate General clarified that the statement, “‘Bibi let us kill the terrorists’ is inflammatory and a danger to the values of the army.”
“It appears that there is no disagreement that expressions of this type harm or are liable to harm the proper order and discipline of the army due to being inflammatory and dangerous in nature to the values of the IDF,” wrote First Lieutenant Oleg Zaburov, an aide to the head of the IDF’s Legal Discipline Department in a letter of response to Kedar.
Nonetheless on Thursday, July 10 the four soldiers in military prison were released earlier than expected. Their families welcomed the release.
“We are happy that our son has returned home. As evidence [that he was correct] in the end his recommendation was accepted and they [the IDF] have started on the mission,” said the parents of one of the soldiers.
“As parents we are very proud of his courageous and sincere expression which is truly heartfelt and came from devotion to the nation [of Israel] and the homeland. We bless the soldiers that the name of Heaven will be sanctified by their actions.”
Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of the Honenu organization which has been assisting the soldier with legal counsel, stated at the time of their sentencing that, “The State of Israel sends her soldiers to the front, but does not understand or does not want to understand their situation, and therefore judges them, punishes them and does not support them. The conduct of the State is obsequious and for the purpose of looking good in the eyes of foreign powers hostile to Israel’s interests, some of whom are genuinely antisemitic, all at the expense of Israeli soldiers. This situation presents a clear and present danger, weakens our steadfastness in the face of our adversaries, and must be changed immediately ”