Daily Israel Report

'IDF Soldiers are Meant for the Field, Not Checkpoints'

MK Yoni Chetboun blasts mismanagement of IDF soldiers after 'David the Nahalawi' incident, says 'soldiers have become cops.'
By Benny Toker and Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 5/4/2014, 11:41 AM

IDF soldiers at checkpoint
IDF soldiers at checkpoint
Flash90

Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home/Bayit Yehudi) has called for IDF soldiers to be pulled from manning checkpoints on Sunday in light of the "David the Nahal soldier" incidents.

"This reality is not normal," Chetboun stated, in a special interview with Arutz Sheva. "Soldiers become cops." 

"Radical leftists and anarchists use cameras to provoke [IDF soldiers] - and in this situation the rules of engagement are irrelevant," he continued. "The fact is that soldiers' hands are tied." 

According to Chetboun, police should be appointed to man checkpoints. IDF soldiers, said the MK, should instead do what they are trained to do: protect the state where it needs it most. 

"IDF soldiers are educated to defeat the enemy," he said. 'You have to put them in the heart of the field, and leave police to man checkpoints." 

"There is no reason why Infantry soldiers have to stand at a post and defend themselves against [Arab] fists," Chetboun added. "The other side should feel persecuted and not be able to march up to checkpoints [to provoke soldiers]. The soldiers have to patrol in the heart of Arab villages [. . .] and create the impression that there is no reason to approach checkpoints."

"A soldier's place is not behind a fixed position, but in the field," he added. 

Public backlash against the Israeli government and IDF has snowballed, after a video was uploaded to YouTube showing Hevron Arabs harassing a soldier.

At least one of the teens, who allied with leftist organizations to show the video as an example of "Israeli aggression," was arrested and then released by IDF forces on Thursday night. 

Meanwhile, the Facebook campaign for the soldier in the video, "David the Nahal Soldier," has garnered over 127,000 "likes" and sparked at least one major protest.