Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that three veteran soldiers in the Shaked Battalion of the Givati Brigade were sent to 30 days in military prison after it was discovered that they abused rookie soldiers.
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The affair was exposed two weeks ago when the battalion was training in Nabi Musa. One of the company commanders found out that veteran soldiers were "welcoming" the new soldiers to the company with hazing ceremonies.
The rookie soldiers said that the veterans put them in a container one after the other, where they were punched and kicked by the commanders.
They described extremely violent acts: The "tradition" of welcoming the soldiers included being punched in the chest and in one case the deputy company sergeant major kicked one young soldier in the groin.
According to another testimony, the veterans then poured odorous liquids on the soldiers – including the liquid found in glow sticks. The young soldiers said that the veterans forbade them from going into the showers when the veteran soldiers were there.
Seven soldiers were tried, with three sentenced to up to 30 days in prison due to the severity of the incidents. Sources within the brigade noted that the punishment is considered severe and their purpose is to fight back against the phenomenon.
Root out phenomenon"If these things happen in the company for years and the commander doesn't know, then he's in a bad situation," said one of the parents of the soldiers who suffered the abuse.
This scandal comes on the heels of the hazing affair within the Tzabar Battalion of the Givati Brigade, which was exposed last December and at first was handled within the brigade.
Some of the soldiers involved were sent to serve a prison sentence after facing disciplinary action, but the large number of testimonies and complainants led police to intervene.
Officials in the Givati Brigade claim that the current scandal in the Shaked Battalion is not as severe as the Tsabar case and was exposed as a result of a command decision to root out the phenomenon rather than sweeping it under the rug.
"We chose not to ignore these problems, and so the veteran soldiers are being severely punished," a source within the brigade said.
"In light of the last incident, which was exposed and handled… the Brigade Commander Colonel Ofer Levi decided to comprehensively examine all brigade units," the IDF Spokesman said.
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