A week after the IDF military
advocate general decided to close the case against the soldier who accidently shot and killed Rabbi Dan Martzbach,
55, the commander of the IDF Judea and Samaria Division, Brig.-Gen Hagai Mordechai visited the rabbi's family.
The Martzbach family members slammed Mordechai over the incident, insisting that the IDF should have tried the soldier who shot the rabbi of the West Bank
settlement of Otniel, at a checkpoint near Mount Hebron in November 2011.
According to the rabbi's family, various sources have argued over the past year that the reason for the shooting was the rabbi's reckless driving, but the division commander stressed that the IDF's investigation of the case showed that "the rabbi's conduct was proper and immaculate."
Mordechai also presented the family with videos and documents that prove the results of the investigation.
The family nonetheless protested that the investigation was lagging long enough to allow malicious rumors to spread regarding the late rabbi's alleged misconduct.
Following Mordechai's visit on Monday, Rina Ben Shabat, Martzbach's daughter, told Ynet that "The most important thing is that my father's name was cleared. We've had to endure gossip claiming that our father ran away, drove with his lights out, or other baseless rumors.
"The division commander showed us a documentation of the incident. It was a painful moment for all of us, but it's clear that the soldier was being irresponsible; my father was not accountable," she said.
Ben Shabat added: "We told the commander that we don’t want to deter IDF soldiers from detaining whomever they need to, but it makes no sense that in my father's case, it's been over a year and no one is facing charges. When soldiers kill terrorists it doesn’t take much longer than a month to put them on trial."
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit stated Monday that the army "mourns the death of Rabbi Martzbach and is sorry for the grievance that the family has had to endure as a result. The lessons of the incident's investigation, which was held immediately following the incident, were distributed to the soldiers and are implemented by security forces in the West Bank. Procedures regarding firing at vehicles were revisited. The IDF regrets that the late rabbi's family found out about the conclusion of the investigation by non-IDF sources and has taken that into consideration."
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