The soldiers left an Ashkelon resort on Friday night in spite of explicit orders, and were drunk when they returned to the compound in which their entire unit was vacationing together. Upon entering, they ran into a fellow soldier who was securing the entrance and demanded that he hand over his personal weapon.
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According to one account of the events, the three claimed they needed the weapon in order to go back to the pub and confront some people they met there. The soldier refused, and a brawl broke out between the four, in which one of the intoxicated soldiers forcefully grabbed the soldier's weapon and loaded it. At one point, the drunken soldier fired in the air, in the heart of a residential neighborhood in eastern Ashkelon.
Upon hearing the commotion, other soldiers arrived at the scene and took control of the rioting soldiers. Military police were called, and detained the three soldiers. The soldier who fired the weapon was brought to the Jaffa Military Court on Friday and his remand was extended until Tuesday. The two additional soldiers will undergo disciplinary trial and are expected to be sentenced to military prison.
IDF: Exceptional, severe case
All three soldiers were dismissed from combat positions, and their future within their paratroopers unit will be examined upon their return from military prison. The IDF stressed that this case is exceptionally severe and that it was immediately reported to Paratroopers Brigade Commander Colonel Eliezer Toledano, who ordered the involvement of the military police.
The IDF is checking whether the instructions regarding the prohibition of alcohol were clearly pointed out to the soldiers during their stay at the resort.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said: "Upon learning about the incident, the battalion commander launched an investigation and the soldiers were dismissed from their positions and will be tried. In regards to the illegal use of a weapon, a military police investigation was carried out and its findings will be turned over to the IDF Military Advocate General.
"The IDF sees the event with great severity; it is an event that is inconsistent with IDF values."
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