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      Singing and Dancing in Support of Havat Gilad Soldier

      Residents of Gilad Farm and other activists support a soldier imprisoned after refusing to return to the army until his destroyed house is rebuilt.
      By Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski
      First Publish: 3/7/2011, 6:09 AM / Last Update: 3/7/2011, 12:41 PM

      A positive atmosphere of music and dancing was felt on Saturday night outside Prison Six in northern Israel, as residents of Gilad Farm (Havat Gilad) and dozens of activists arrived at the road adjacent to the prison for a post-Shabbat “Melave Malka” event. The group came to show support for Israeli soldier Shimon Weizman, who was sentenced to 30 days in prison after announcing that he does not intend to return to the army until his house in Gilad Farm is rebuilt.

      Police forces demolished it in a violent pre-dawn raid last week, after which they came under strong attack from Knesset Members and others for firing pneumatic bullets at protestors from very close range.

      A police force was on alert during the event, and a police photographer was also on scene to record the show of support.

      During the event, a number of activists handed Gilad Farm representatives substantial amounts of money for the rebuilding of their homes which were destroyed in last week’s early morning raid.

      Yehuda Shimon, who was shot at close range during the evacuation, also arrived at the “Melave Malka” and showed to those who had not yet seen it, the results of the shooting as still can be seen on his legs.

      “They must have received instructions to shoot anything that moves,” he said. “I came out of my home with a camera, and I was shot twice, once in each leg. That’s exactly what happened.”

      Rabbi Dov Shalom Wolpe also took part in the event and spoke against the evacuation and the destruction. He also spoke in favor of acts of protest such as the one taken by Shimon Weizman.

      “Rabbi Shimon Weizman, our sweet soldier, equated between the subordinates of the Tabernacle and the subordinates of the army,” said Rabbi Wolpe. “There’s no army if there are no Jewish communities and outposts. There is no illegal community or outpost.  Everything is legal in the land of Israel.”