IDF Arrests, then Releases, Teen from Nahal Soldier Incident
The IDF arrested and later released a Palestinian Arab teen who was filmed as the soldier who has come to be known as "David the Nahlawi" (David the Nahal soldier) was cocking his weapon towards him.
According to a Channel 2 News report on Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the teen was arrested Wednesday and released a day later.
The IDF stressed that the teen was questioned and released after interrogation, but no further details were given about the circumstances of his arrest.
“David the Nahlawi” was reportedly dismissed from his post and could receive jail time. The IDF has clarified that he soldier was dismissed for “acting in a violent manner towards his commanders” and not because of the weapon cocking incident, but there has been backlash over the incident nevertheless.
The soldier's treatment by the army triggered widespread protests, both online and in Hevron itself. A Facebook page set up to support "David the Nahlawi" has garnered thousands of likes within a day of launching.
As part of the online protest, thousands of soldiers have uploaded photos expressing support for the soldier - despite warnings from military officials that soldiers linked to the protest may be punished for speaking out against the IDF.
On Wednesday night, Jewish Home party head and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett joined the growing show of support, declaring, "I would have acted in the same way as David the Nahal Brigade warrior," on his Facebook page.
"He acted correctly," he continued. "What we see in the film is very simple... He was alone, surrounded by a number of violent Arabs and provocateurs. He did not open fire, (but) he took reasonable steps to protect himself and others around him and brought the incident to an end."
"In the background there were two cameramen, and not by chance," he noted. "The extreme-left thrives on smearing the IDF. This should draw condemnations from across the political spectrum."
MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said on Wednesday night that even though the soldier was not punished for the videotaped incident, it was important for the IDF to address the fact that soldiers feel they have lost their trust in the system.