A verbal dispute between a group of reserve soldiers and soldiers in mandatory service developed into a violent fight that could have ended fatally.
According to information obtained by Ynet, during the brawl, which started after the reservists ridiculed the soldiers for serving with female combatants, one of the reservists was hit on the head and lost consciousness.
His friend's rifle then emitted a bullet, which luckily did not injure anyone.
The near-fatal incident occurred earlier this month when two soldiers in mandatory service walked by two reservists playing backgammon.
The reservists mocked the passing soldiers for serving alongside female combat soldiers, calling them "homosexuals."
'Couldn't get up or move'Shortly after the verbal exchange, the soldiers came back with "back-up", and a violent brawl broke out between the two groups.
According to eye witnesses, the soldiers held sticks, stones and a chair. One of them attacked a reservist with a stick while others hurled stones and the chair at him and his friend.
The reservist who was hit by the chair fell to the ground and lost consciousness. He was evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment and released home for a week of rest.
"He came towards me, I can't remember if I was standing up. He swung a plank at my head and the only think I remember was being on the floor without being able to get up or move," said the reservist soldier.
"They took me to the bathroom. I felt the flow of water on my head and from there on I can remember myself on a stretcher on the way to the hospital," he recounted the event.
His friend, who tried to ward off the attackers, grabbed a nearby weapon, loaded the magazine, and shouted at one of the soldiers, "Move or I'll shoot a bullet in your head."
The reservist then shot a bullet on to the ground, which he claimed was emitted after he received a blow to the chest.
"I didn’t mean to shoot a bullet; I honestly thought we were going to be murdered," he told the Investigating Military police.
The reservist explained the investigators that he apologized to the soldiers, but they did not back off. "After five minutes, a bunch of people came at us with rocks, stones and metal poles," he recalled.
"I ran and grabbed a weapon and was planning to run away, but then (my friend) was hit. Someone came to me with a stick and I saw (my friend) getting beat up with poles and stones while lying on the floor. Someone was about to slam a brick in his head.
"They tried to murder us," he added. "A man ran toward me with a metal pole and I didn’t know what to do, he was aiming at my face. I saw many people beat (my friend); someone was standing over him with a brick. I loaded the magazine not with the intention of shooting, but in order to create deterrence. I felt genuine fear for my life," the reservist said in his testimony.
'Am I an Arab'?The fatal outcome was perhaps prevented by another soldier who pushed away the rifle.
"I went out of the tent around 10 o'clock. Suddenly I see someone with a weapon. It was a reservist. He was about to stick the rifle into (one of the soldier's) backs," the soldier said in a statement.
"Then he loaded the weapon and aimed it at one of the soldiers…I ran and grabbed the shaft, pushed the weapon down and then he shot a bullet into the ground, a few centimeters away from me," he added, "I took the weapon and then he ran away."
During the incident, one of the soldiers yelled at the reservist: "Why are you pointing a weapon at me? Am I an Arab?"
The Military Prosecution decided to indict one of the regular soldiers with assault with intent to injure, and one of the reservists with unlawful possession of a weapon.
The arrest of the soldier accused of assault was extended by two months. His attorney, Dan Baumann, said he believed the reservists' testimonies were false and intended to justify their actions.
Attorney Boaz Kenig, who represents one of the reservists, claimed his client should have not been indicted in the first place. "My client is the victim in this incident; he only acted after there was a clear and immediate danger to his life."
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