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'David the Nahlawi' Reinstated After Two Months

Nahal soldier who was disciplined after a confrontation with Arab youths in Hevron has been allowed to return to his battalion.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/13/2014, 2:15 AM

Nahal Brigade exercise
Nahal Brigade exercise
IDF Spokesman's Unit

"David the Nahlawi", the Nahal Brigade soldier who was disciplined after a confrontation with Arab youths in Hevron, has been allowed to return to his battalion after a two-month suspension, it was reported on Tuesday night.

According to Kol Yisrael radio, the commander of the Nahal Brigade and the commander of David’s battalion decided to reinstate him due to his exemplary behavior in the department to which he was transferred following the suspension.

David was suspended when he cocked his rifle at Arab youths who approached him from behind with a pair of brass knuckles.

The IDF later backtracked from initial criticisms of the incident caught on camera, and claimed that his punishment stemmed from an unrelated argument he had with his commanding officers.

Following his suspension, a huge Facebook protest erupted by thousands of soldiers who expressed support for David.

Former Defense Minister MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said he stood behind the soldier, and noted that the situation for IDF soldiers in the field had become "impossible".

He said the footage of the incident showed he had acted in accordance with the IDF's rules of engagement - having cocked his rifle after feeling his life was potentially in danger.

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said he supported David as well and would have acted the same way if he was in that situation.

"I would have acted in the same way as David the Nahal Brigade warrior," said Bennett.

"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."