Soldier threatens left-wing activist; in a rare move, court decides to charge soldier
by Hanan Greenberg
‘We’ll kill you and castrate you,’ threatened an IDF soldier in a phone call to a left-wing activist who takes part in controversial protests against army checkpoints. Soldier now facing court martial
Tensions between IDF troops and left-wing activists who hold demonstrations at military checkpoints in the West Bank may culminate in an extended arrest of an IDF soldier.
The soldier, frustrated with the activists who routinely interfere with the operations at the checkpoint, decided to take matters into his own hands.
The soldier reportedly made seven phone calls to one of the activists, cursing him and telling him to stay away from the village where the soldier and his unit were operating.
The caller identified himself as “the soldier from Susia (an Israeli settlement located south of Hebron),” and repeatedly cursed the activist.
The activist filed a formal complaint about the harassment and the military prosecution, in a rare move, decided to charge the soldier at the Jaffa Military Court.
If convicted, the soldier will be marked as a criminal felon, even after he is discharged.
According to the charges the soldier told the activist: “When you come to the village of Tawana (a Palestinian village near Hebron) we will kill you, castrate you and take you down.”
Following the complaint a military police investigation was launched. Due to the severity of the case the military prosecution decided taking disciplinary action against the soldier would not suffice and a court martial was recommended.
The decision was met with surprise by the military advocacy. “This is a very strange indictment, this is not a case of serial or continuing harassment but rather a phone call that only lasted several minutes,” said a military defense attorney.
“The circumstances surrounding the soldier’s actions are centered around the unhinged behavior of the left-wing activist against IDF soldiers, including an attempt to run over a soldier and members of his unit at one of the military’s checkpoints,” he said.
The soldier’s defense team said it would try to convince the military prosecution to revert to a disciplinary proceeding.
Experts who reviewed the case noted that the activists is well known to the Hebron police and he has been labeled as an extremist who frequently lodges complaints against IDF soldiers and provokes conflicts between Jewish and Palestinian residents.
Just several weeks ago the clash between IDF troops and leftists in the area came to blows when reserve soldiers were documented hitting activists who were rioting near a checkpoint. No soldiers were prosecuted after that incident and the Head of the Central Command ordered the soldiers and their commanders keep their posts.