Nine soldiers who were allegedly involved in the sexual relations scandal with a 14-year-old girl in the Nevatim Air Force base in the south of Israel were sentenced Monday to a period of 14 to 30 days in a military prison for behavior unbecoming, and for shameful behavior. These sentences were given despite sharp criticism from the public and from women's organizations claiming that the soldiers were not given harsh enough sentences.
On Thursday, ten other soldiers involved in the scandal were sentenced to 21 to 42 days in prison, and 11 others will be sentenced soon. Military advocate General Maj. General Avihai Mendelbit adopted the decision of the Air Force Prosecution not to charge them with criminal charges, but to try the 30 soldiers involved with disciplinary charges only.
During the scandal, dozens of soldiers were suspected of having sexual relations with a 14 year old girl living on base.
The base's new commander, who replaced the commander who resigned because of the scandal, was the one to sentence the soldiers. So far, the most a single soldier was sentenced to was 42 days.
The significance of the disciplinary ruling, as opposed to the criminal charge, is that the soldiers will not carry any of the charges with them after they retire from service. The decision to take the disciplinary route came after the prosecution arrived to the conclusion that the soldiers were convinced the girl was of age, telling them she was 16.