IDF Refuser Gets 20 Days in Jail

Soldier sentenced to 20 days for refusing to help destroy Meoz Esther outpost; six arrested after police use Arab-licensed car to bait Jews.

Hillel Fendel ,

An army driver was sentenced to 20 days in jail for refusing to take part in destroying the Meoz Esther outpost, and six arrests were made when police ambushed them from within a car with an Arab license plate.

The soldier driver was sentenced on Thursday by an IDF regiment commander. The soldier had refused to take part in the destruction of the Meoz Esther start-up neighborhood, near Kokhav HaShachar, carried out the same day.

The soldier is a resident of the Shomron town of Kedumim, and was himself forcibly evacuated from another Shomron town, Sa-Nur, during the Disengagement of 2005. Despite this, he was ordered to join a police force that was to destroy Meoz Esther. He responded, “I cannot take part in that, take someone else.”

His commander did find someone else – and told the first soldier he would be tried by a Lt.-Col, who sent him to jail for 20 days.

Police Ambush From Within Arab Car
After the destruction on Thursday, Jewish residents blocked roads in protest. In the Gilad Farm, an outpost near Kedumim, six youths were ambushed and arrested by police on charges of throwing rocks at Arabs. The arrests were the result of what Shomron Regional Council Chairman Gershon Mesika called an “unacceptable provocation” by the police.

The police set up a bait for the Jewish residents in the form of a car with Arab license plates that entered the farm. Several youths began to clash with the driver, and then the policemen surprised them by jumping out from the back seat and arresting them.

“I condemn this unacceptable provocation by the police,” Mesika protested. “The residents of the farm try not to be dragged into Arab provocations and thus maintain quiet in the area, and then it is the police who come and cause trouble.”

A police spokesman refused to comment on the way in which the arrests were made, saying only that the police had increased their activity in light of “increased violence against Arabs near Gilad Farm.”