ZIKIM - IDF squad commander from the Zikim military base was sent to prison for 28 days after he treated Orthodox soldiers that finished boot camp inappropriately Tuesday.
After he finishes serving his sentence, he will not be able to go back to commander position.
The Orthodox soldiers, all aged 22-23, told Ynet that when they returned from the synagogue Tuesday morning, the commander gathered them in one of the classrooms.
Insulting religious soldiers
He took out a note and began reading, saying that he does not want to see their faces anymore, which is why he did not attend their swearing-in ceremony.
According to the soldiers, the commander then said that he is "glad because the only yarmulke that was there was this," gesturing his
"We were shocked," the soldiers said. "There are soldiers here who left wives, kids and financial debts at home to come to the army. Some are going to be teachers, some are going to be rabbis, all to be part of the IDF. We did not expect to be treated this way."
The soldiers said that they could not turn to the platoon commander because, just a few days ago, he treated one of the trainees in a similar manner.
When the squad commander denied the trainee a medical examination, the trainee tried to complain. In response, the platoon commander told him that he should step on the trainee's yarmulke and that the trainee is part of the riffraff of the Orthodox community.
He also called the trainee "Satan."
Squad leader punished
"We tried to turn to the base commander," the soldier said. "No one wanted to listen to us, they told us to write a letter. In the last moment we had a talk, and then we understood that the commander was punished already and sent to jail. We did not expect to finish boot camp this way."
IDF officials said that the event that took place on Tuesday was serious and that an investigation is taking place.
"This is a case of rebellious commander that does not respect instructions, orders and human dignity," the officials said.