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IDF Captain: Shamni is Out of Touch

An IDF captain accused of hitting a terror suspect lashes back at GOC Central Command Shamni, accuses him of “sitting in an ivory tower.”
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/10/2009, 7:30 PM

Flash 90

Former IDF Lieutenant Adam Malul criticized GOC Central Command Major-General Gadi Shamni on Thursday, accusing him of “sitting in an ivory tower, cut off from reality.” Shamni testified against Malul Thursday in a highly publicized case that has pitted Shamni against his subordinates in a fight over basic IDF procedure.

Malul, formerly a commander in the Kfir Brigade, is accused of hitting a Palestinian Authority Arab in September 2008 while pursuing two terrorists who had recently fired on Jewish civilians in Samaria. Malul and subordinates who were present say the blows were necessary in order to complete the operation.

Shamni said Thursday that Malul's behavior had crossed “red lines” regarding IDF procedure in Judea and Samaria. “There are clear codes of conduct... We don't use force after a person is arrested," he said. “It is permitted to question verbally but that is how it should begin and end.”

Despite Shamni's condemnation, Malul stood by his actions. “I take responsibility for what I did. There was a situation where I had to slap a Palestinian. I'm not ashamed of what I did.”

"The incident in question took place in the middle of an operation. Nobody else can assess the situation on the ground as I was able to,” he added.

During an earlier stage in the trial Malul was backed by his immediate commander, Itai Virov. Virov was subsequently reprimanded by Shamni.

'5 Years – For What?'
Malul's mother Ruti was present at the trial as well. Following Shamni's testimony, Ruti Malul slammed the Major-General. “This is a disgrace. This Major-General is completely out of touch with reality.”

Malul deserves better treatment after his long and dangerous army service, Ruti Malul told reporters at the trial. “He gave five years of his life, and to who? And is this what I deserve as a mother? For five years I haven't slept, three times he was almost killed in combat, why do I deserve this?”

Ruti Malul has written to ministers and members of Knesset asking them to intervene on her son's behalf. In the letter, Malul criticized the IDF for putting her son in jail for months based on testimony from a single soldier. She also slammed Shamni for “blatantly interfering” with Malul's trial by reprimanding Virov.

"I ask you to speak out as national leaders... to cancel the indictment against my son, and to bring the situation he faced up for discussion in the government, in the Knesset, in the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, to discuss the implications for the present and the future,” she concluded.