Soldiers who protested settlement evacuation get jail time
Six Kfir Brigade troops who held sign reading, 'Nachshon doesn't evict Jews either' suspended, two of them sentenced to 30 days in military prison. Rightists: Punishment will not deter soldiers from refusing to evacuate children; political evacuations tearing IDF apart
Six combat soldiers from the Kfir Brigade's Nachshon Battalion who held a sign protesting the evacuation of West Bank settlements were suspended on Monday, and two of them were sentenced to 30 days in a military prison.
Commander of the brigade, Colonel Oren Avman, said the two would be demoted and would no longer be able to serve as combat soldiers or to hold officers' posts in the future.
The involvement of four additional soldiers in the incident has not been ascertained yet.
The soldiers stood on top of the roof of a building at their military base in South Mount Hebron and waived a banner on which was written: "Nachshon doesn't evict (Jews) either."
The soldiers decided to take action following the demolition of illegal structures in the settlement of Negohot Monday morning. A family of six lived in one of the buildings and was evicted before the demolition.
Troops on rooftop with 'Nachshon doesn't evict (Jews) either' sign (Photo: Asaf Farid)
The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that "the soldiers' action is prohibited by its very foundation and is in opposition to the military's values. Any attempt to involve the IDF in the political discourse is inappropriate."
In response to the sentence, right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel said that "the punishment will not deter soldiers from refusing to evacuate children," while the Binyamin Settlers' Committee said the "political evacuations at Homesh and Negohot are tearing the IDF apart."
Earlier Monday, head of the South Mount Hebron Regional Council Tzviki Bar-Hai said that the razing of illegal structures in the settlement of Negohot is "selective enforcement on the part of Defense Minister Barak."
According to Bar-Hai, Minister Barak "prevents the actualization of demolition orders for Palestinian buildings while razing Jewish houses and choking settlement."
The organization Homesh First praised the soldiers: "Your internal political wars, Labor Party, continue to shatter the IDF. The prime minister must fire the defense minister who continues to profiteer on IDF soldiers for political missions against Jews and time after time divides the IDF."
Efrat Weiss contributed to the report