IDF officer incarcerated for breaking rioter's camera

Paratrooper sent to prison after he smashed camera of rioter in Hevron .'The military justice system suffers from moral blindness.'

Tzvi Lev,

Arab rioter throws bottle
Arab rioter throws bottle
Ahmad Gharabli/Flash 90

A deputy company commander in a paratroopers brigade sentenced to 22 days in a military prison on Thursday with breaking the cameras of an Italian left-wing activist in Hevron.

According to Army Radio, the left-wing activist had taken part in an Arab riot in Hevron and documented it in two separate cameras while cursing at the soldiers.

Troops detained the activist after he prevented them from dispersing the disturbances and brought him to their base, where the officer broke his cameras.

The jail sentence is relatively rare, as similar incidents commonly end with a disciplinary hearing. The decision to send the officer to prison was harshly criticized by Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich, who alleged that the commander's incarceration was part of a heavy-handed policy that hobbled IDF soldiers from fighting terrorism.

"I simply can not understand the absurdity in which we abandon our soldiers and sacrifice them as a scapegoat," said Smotrich. "The military justice system suffers from moral and moral blindness and endangers the security of Israel."

A similar incident occurred in 2015 when a lieutenant from the Givati Brigade was removed from his post after being caught on film breaking the cameras of foreign journalists during a violent Arab riot in Beit Furik, an Arab town outside Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.

In a pre-edited video taken by Arab rioters and spread on social networks, the soldiers were seen pushing the AFP photographers out of the way, and one is seen breaking the camera of one of them by throwing it on the ground.


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