Daily Israel Report

Hareidi Soldiers Who Called to 'Eliminate Terrorists' Set Free

After refusing a legal appeal to free 4 soldiers who made a call 'dangerous to IDF values,' the IDF releases the soldiers early anyway.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 7/10/2014, 9:16 PM

Friends support soldiers arrested for wanting to 'kill terrorists'
Friends support soldiers arrested for wanting to 'kill terrorists'
Honenu Organization

A new support campaign has been launched for the four hareidi soldiers arrested last Thursday for calling to "eliminate the terrorists," as part of a grassroots protest after the murder of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel by Hamas terrorists.

The four were sentenced to ten days in jail for posting a picture to Facebook of themselves with a sign reading "Bibi, let us eliminate the terrorists," using the nickname for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. They were released ahead of time on Thursday.

Friends and family members of the four soldiers printed T-shirts and keyrings with the protest picture of the soldiers, along with the words "we're proud of you, friend."

Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal aid organization appealed the 10-day jail sentence. He called for a retrial due to several legal errors in what he called a show trial, that was meant to make up for the IDF's inability to control soldier protests in the case of "David the Nahlawi," the soldier punished for defending himself in April.

"The case we are dealing with is a borderline incident in which no crime was committed, and my client fell victim to the pressure exerted on the commanders who are facing demands to root out the general phenomenon (of grassroots protests), but unfortunately they chose the wrong incident in which to do this," said Keidar.

However, the IDF did not accede to Keidar's request for a retrial or for easing the sentence, claiming that the statement calling to "eliminate the terrorists" was "dangerous" to the values of the army.

In response to the appeal, First Lieutenant Oleg Zaburov, an aide to the head of the IDF's Legal Discipline Department, wrote "it seems none disagree that statements of this sort harm or may harm the proper order of the army and its discipline, by being impassioned and dangerous to the essence and values of the IDF."

Nevertheless, as noted, the four soldiers were released on Thursday, before completing their ten-day sentence.

"We're happy our son returned home from a place he wasn't at all supposed to be in (i.e. jail), and the proof of that is that in the end, they accepted his suggestion," said the parents of one of the soldiers.

They added "we as parents are very proud of the brave and honest statement which truly came from the heart, and from self-sacrifice for the nation and the homeland, and we wish for our soldiers that the name of Heaven will be sanctified by their hands."

As part of the outpouring of support for the four soldiers, posters bearing the picture of the soldiers' protest were hung in various public areas, and friends and supporters wore shirts printed for the campaign.

"Proud of you, friend!" Honenu Organization