IDF Demotes Soldiers Who Refused To Evict Jews in Hevron

Soldiers who refused to be part of the violent eviction of 2 Hevron families are demoted from combat service - but will receive civilian awards.

Hillel Fendel,

OC Central Region Commander Maj.-Gen. Gad Shamni has suspended five soldiers from combat duty who refused to take part in the eviction of two families from Jewish-owned property in Hevron last month.

Shamni reached the decision after reviewing the protocols of the hearings in which the five were sentenced to up to 28 days of army incarceration.  A decision on the other soldiers who refused to evict Jewish families in Hevron has not yet been reached.

The suspension from combat service was announced just hours before a special awards ceremony for the soldiers is to be held, sponsored by the grassroots "Task Force to Save the Nation and Land."  The organization  stated, "The soldiers who refused to expel Jews are a model of behavior for the entire Nation of Israel.  We should embrace and adopt them - and that is what we will do this evening, when we award them for their actions."

The ceremony will be held at the Heichal David hall in the Romema neighborhood of Jerusalem, near the Central Bus Station.  It will begin at 7:30 PM with a musical performance by popular Israeli entertainer Ariel Zilber.

The radical left-wing organization Peace Now has asked the police to outlaw the ceremony, claiming it is a form of "incitement and rebellion."

The incident took place a month ago, when two families were violently forced out of their homes in the Shalhevet neighborhood of the ancient Jewish town.  The houses are built on the site of the Jewish-owned former Hevron marketplace, near the Avraham Avinu neighborhood.  Three thousand Border Guard officers, Yassam special forces and IDF soldiers took part in the operation, which involved the destruction of the homes and a building that served as a synagogue. Dozens of supporters attempted to block the eviction.

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